There's a magic in the in-between times. They are the cracks where we can escape notice, where we can lose ourselves temporarily. As children, we experienced in-between time when we went to play outside, inventing our own games, accountable to no one, parents and playmates alike unaware of where we were in our heads, even if they could see us through their windows.
The days between semesters are in-between times. We appear in the hallways and offices, but our days are largely unscheduled. Tasks that must be accomplished are on our own timetables, with only the end result important, not the moment-to-moment progress. There is time for experimentation, for wild goose chases, for personal quests, for unanswerable questions.
In between is freedom. It's neither leadership nor followerhood -- it's autonomy. And for those of us who live life on stage, constantly judged by those we are assigned to judge, a moment out of the spotlight is a rare treasure. We are so often caught in between our students and our supervisors, our administration and our accrediting agencies, our academic freedom and our promotion and tenure committees. To be in the cracks of those cracks, somehow out of sight for a spell, is exhilarating. All the more so because the in-betweens are short and precious, yet with the appeal of endless indulgence.
Enjoy your in-between times, and the responsibilities from which they afford a gloriously brief respite.