An Ode to MQC

By Catarina T. Do

After procrastinating once again on my Math 1a pset (to no one’s surprise), I take my walk of shame down the sterile halls of the Science Center third floor into MQC. After greeting myself to the busy herd of confused students crowded around tables, my friends ask me, “What question are you on?”

“Question 1,” I respond with seemingly too much pride.

Despite my initial setback, I (thankfully) end up completing my pset before the center closes at 11 p.m. Simply put, I owe my life and soul to the MQC, and here are some reasons why this seemingly dark and stressful place is one of my favorites on campus.

The MQC enforces collaboration

Teamwork really does make the dream work at the MQC. This place enforces collaboration with my fellow Math 1a peers and with the Course Assistants (CAs). And while sometimes it is embarrassing to ask questions (I once asked what 12 times 13 was, so don’t worry, your question cannot be worse), I know that MQC will always be there to help ~unstick~ me. In the land of MQC, there really are no dumb questions. Everyone’s in the same boat. Did someone say trauma bonding????

The MQC makes me feel like I am doing groundbreaking work

One of my favorite things about the MQC is the chalkboards. Every time I confidently stride to the board to solve a problem, I channel my inner Oppenheimer and pretend I’m solving a new theorem to be named after myself. The L’eon James Principle. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? Although my Math 1a pset isn’t as groundbreaking as the Math 55 psets, this chalkboard empowerment gives me the extra motivation to complete my pset and not resort to using a pset drop.

The MQC is controlled chaos

I can think of very few places where the idea of “controlled chaos” is more prevalent than in the MQC. The endless line of students flagging down CAs to coax the answer out of them ask insightful questions, the messiness of the chalkboards (not to mention the stained pants that you always wipe the excess chalk from your hands on), and the loudness of the room all contribute to a perfect storm of chaos. Yet, all of us students have one goal in mind: complete the pset as fast as possible so we can go to Brain Break and munch on Marshmallow Mateys. This environment is so Harvard-core and makes me proud to be a Crimson.

Dear MQC, I cannot thank you enough for the hours you have saved me throughout the week. Please never change your collaborative, stimulating, and chaotic self. I love you and all you have to offer, and the day Harvard gets rid of you is the day my GPA tanks.

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