Midterms: the half-point check-in with exams and papers that showcase the great human capital we’ve developed in the past month and a half. This familiar feeling is about as missed as the half-hearted final bite of an unsatisfactory meal. I forgot what it felt like to lock myself in the library and plug away for hours on end only to reemerge in society half-dazed and feeling like a zombie. Although you may be thinking, ‘Whoa, do I really want to go through that again?’ I’d recommend you finish reading this post.

Diving back into annotated pages where I drew skewed stars and underlined paragraphs with side bars of “GET OUT!” or “this hits home – another checkpoint of institutionalized racism” brought me comfort. I’ve been absorbing a lot of knowledge calories here, but I haven’t felt any ‘smarter,’ because the growth is unassuming. Listening to peers sharing perspectives adds to the ones I already cherish. Learning has been indefinite the past month and a half and it’s a bit weird to try and share how much I’ve consumed.

I remember having midterms in college where I was simply trying to get through the material. I remember acknowledging and hitting home points that the faculty mentioned with distinct emphasis in class, or championing texts that showcase deep intertextuality, but that’s not what it’s all about here. The push back of what you’ve learned the semester is predicated on the platform we share as a collective to improve the lives of the individuals we serve – young and old. We learn so we can improve the systems in which they live. Midterms can be grueling, but it’s not an unsatisfactory meal here. In fact, I find that it’s been pretty delicious.

Taaha Mohamedali is a Master’s of Education candidate in Higher Education. Prior to enrolling at Harvard, Taaha was an admissions officer coordinating efforts to improve access for marginalized groups at Lafayette College.  He hopes to improve transitional support structures for these groups in the years to come. His passions include spoken word, comedy, and rock, paper, scissors.

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