time in the waiting room at a doctor’s office or barber shop
i.e., those slices of time that happen between scheduled events or during transitions / pauses.
Lately, I’m hearing more and more people talk about how they (or we can) use interstitial moments to consume programming or education . . . or to practice mindfulness or some other creative act. I’m not suggesting that any of those choices are good or bad, but I do intend to start noticing the interstitial moments in my life and to see how I naturally fill them. If I’m being honest, I think I’m in one right now. Maybe you are, too.
Or maybe this would be better classified as interstitial space?
Too many people never have the confidence to take it really, truly easy and as a result they are never able to go really, truly hard. They get stuck in the murky middle. The murky middle is associated with stagnation and burnout.— Brad Stulberg (@BStulberg) April 7, 2019
I’m currently reading Brad’s new book — The Passion Paradox— and it’s messing with some of my certainties, which is why I keep picking up books. I really hope for that. I’ll try to type up some notes in the future.
Tomorrow’s a day off from work, so I’m looking back at my calendar to try to re-collect the week before heading into an extended weekend. As usual, I attended a lot of meetings this week, but I feel really lucky because, in many of these meetings, I had the chance to hear from passionate people.
I heard a science teacher argue passionately for a new Physics course, one that would give students access to a broader swath of the discipline.
I heard a group of students argue passionately for an improved approach to bias incidents in school and society.
I heard a colleague argue passionately for the importance of sharing one’s creative work.
I heard a student argue passionately for his particular interpretation of a complicated book.
I heard a colleague argue passionately for an inclusive approach to developing next year’s calendar.
All of these people were respectful; all of them were insightful; all of them had done their homework; all of them showed me different ways to see and value and care about the world. I am thankful that there are so many ways. I am thankful that so many people around me care enough about me, and about the work we do together, to try to help me see things from their point of view. I am thankful that my education, both formal and informal, taught me how to listen — and that I have so many opportunities to practice. Listening is obviously a gift to the heard. It is also a great gift to the hearer.
A colleague and I are using Austin Kleon’s new book, Keep Going, as a frame for our senior May Term program. Any senior working on a creative project during the month of May will receive or has received a copy. So far, students who have cracked it open have often said “wow” or “this looks like a great book” or sat silently reading until they reached a passage or drawing that they wanted to share, which never takes long.
Yesterday I posted something about a (to be) revered moment in golf history. Today, a friend shared with me a revered moment from an e-sport (sometimes known as a video game). The parallels between the two moments are quite interesting: both include passionate players, steely resolve, perseverance, the triumph of hard-won wisdom, long practice, and fully engaged audiences.