Norris's Field Quarter went well beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. In an interview with Randall Jarrell for his oral history biography, Norris states, "our little moving organism across the state became an organism into itself and it was terribly different perspectives within a communal and collaborative learning experience.
After teaching the first Field Quarter Norris became aware of this integration of lives, personalities, and viewpoints. He states in his oral history biography, "I was dealing with the lives of 23 young people, all bright, all special in their own ways, who were busy trying to find their place in the world. I was part of it. I wasn’t just on the sidelines. I was a part of that search and it marked me for life. It wasn’t anything, anything, like getting up in front of a class and then teaching it and then sitting down. It was a slice of life" (39). From its first offering in 1973 to 1990, when he retired from UCSC, Norris's Field Quarter was a meaningful life experience that challenged traditional conceptions of learning and authority in the classroom.