I've moved!

I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

identity.

word of the day: identity \ī-ˈden-tə-tē\ the distinguishing character or personality of an individual

I had every intention of writing a new post every day of break. Then these happened:

Instead of writing a blog post every day, I have instead been writing things like, "be more specific", "needs clearer commentary", and "where is your transition?". Occasionally I get to write, "this was refreshing!", "excellent job!", or "hang this one on the fridge!". Breaks become necessary when I find myself writing "huh?" and "this is confusing" more often than I would like.

But, the essays are out of sight and out of mind for the time being. Now it's just me, Ginny, and the random thoughts spinning around in my head. Try to stay with me.

The other day I found myself thinking about things like perfume, Howie Day, and the way I write my "o's". They were all very separate thoughts, and then somehow I think they sort of connected. Let's see if I can make this work (without being too long winded of course).

I found a bottle of Gap Dream lotion at my parents' house last week. I smelled it and was immediately transported back to middle school.
I'm sure I lathered on the dream before my eighth grade formal (see above left). The more you put on, the longer it lasts, right?

The flashback smell got me thinking about all the other significant smells I can remember. For instance, 'Love Spell' will forever remind me of my friend Kara and the time she spilled a bottle all over a bunk at our 9th grade spiritual emphasis retreat. 'Happy' takes me back to high school prom, 'Romantic Wish' reminds me of dates with Jake, and 'Angel Whispers' makes me feel like I have to go to work. My smells have changed with time.

I used to go through song phases in college. For a period of time, my musical tastes centered around a single song and I would listen to that one song until I couldn't stand it any longer. It all started with 'Swing Swing' by the All-American Rejects. From there it was 'Somebody Like You' by Keith Urban, 'Collide' by Howie Day, and 'Hope' by Alli Rogers.

Whenever I hear one of those songs, a very vivid mental picture pops into my mind. 'Somebody Like You' takes me back to football season, 'Collide' puts me back on the Minnesota Road Trip 'O Fun, and 'Hope' places me on my bunk agonizing over my then-crush on Jake.
The above is college Jake in the prime of my secret crush on him. But that's a story for another day.

I like to change my handwriting. In college, I got fancy with my g's:
Most recently, I changed my o's (see above) and added more of a cursive touch to my writing.

A few weeks ago I got tired of the way I write my 4's, so I decided to change them, too.

Apparently your handwriting says a lot about you.

According to this test, I have a strong need for contact, am rational and conservative, and am not very original.

But if that's what my handwriting says about my personality, what does it mean if I change the way I write my 'g's'? Does it altar who I am? Does it change my identity?

I have been surprising myself this week. It's almost like I'm living an out of body experience. It's me, but it's not me. My thoughts and actions aren't necessarily reflective of who I really am.

But this week, that's a good thing.

So what does that mean? Can I just change my personality? Can I just decide one day that I want to think a different way? Or worry less? Or be more thankful?

Maybe, with some effort. But, what does that say about my identity? If I'm constantly changing aspects of my personality, how can I ever know who I really am?

Apparently changing my handwriting doesn't really altar my personality. Apparently, the people who make a living out of analyzing handwriting can tell it's you even if you change your letters. Like, something about your writing stays the same even if you tweak it.

Such is the same about life, I suppose. I can tweak my personality and surprise myself with the way I respond to certain situations. I can change my perfume, song choice, and even the slant of my letters, but at the root of it all, there is something inherent about me that won't change.

At the root of it all is my identity in Christ.

And, at this point, the thought process stops there.



Sunday, December 26, 2010

break.

word of the day: break ˈ\brāk\ an interruption in continuity

Break suits me. I know some people who go crazy with nothing to do on any given day. Me? I am not one of those people. Sunday now marks my 4th full day of winter break and glorious it has been.

It's glorious because I keep forgetting what day it is. The other night I asked Jake if he wanted to watch Saturday Night Live. We turned the television on only to remember that it was Thursday.

It is glorious because so far I have woken up AFTER the sun every morning. Take that sun. You don't get to laugh at my sleepy eyes for another week.

Glorious is when you watch an entire season of Parks and Recreation in three days. I suppose a more impressive feat would have been one day, but Jake and I were pretty pleased with our accomplishment.

It has been glorious to put the hustle and bustle on hold to sit on my couch enjoying my husband. I didn't leave his side for three straight days, and boy, I needed that.

It is no secret that I am a quality time person. In fact, I once freaked Jake out in college by calculating and complaining about the exact amount of minutes we had seen each other one week. And by exact, I mean that the magic number was 52. I'm not sure how I arrived at that number, but apparently I came off a little high strung...

I am totally freaked out by medical school because I know the quality time I get to spend with Jake will be drastically less and I am a wreck during the times he leaves me because I miss him so dang much.
But through it all I am learning, and again (thanks to Jake) am forcing myself to look at the big picture.

Time doesn't define our relationship and if anything, the lack of it reminds me to appreciate him more.

But I don't feel like dwelling on that for too long. Break isn't for dwelling on any one thing too long. At least not today.

On a totally unrelated and much more superficial note, Christmas was also glorious.

Ginny rocked out her Christmas sweater, of course.

And, thanks to my mom, enjoyed the goodies in her stocking.

Again, don't judge me. It's break, people.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

hiatus.

word of the day: hiatus \hī-ˈā-təs\ an interruption in time or continuity, especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted

I'm baaaaack.

I recognize that it wasn't a very long hiatus. But I think it's the longest in the existence of this here blog, and it was starting to get to me. It's a strange responsibility a blog puts on you. The requirement of writing without any real requirement at all. Whatever that means.

Today is all about stream of consciousness. Because, I may be back from hiatus, but there's too much other stuff on the to do list to try to make a coherent thought. As I like to tell Jake, it's impossible to uncross my wires. But that's a blog for another day.

We visited Nate in Kansas a few weeks ago. We hadn't seen him in six months: the longest hiatus in our friendship thus far. Our lives were made complete again during the 36 hours we spent with him. I'm convinced that when he goes back to Utah he takes a little piece of us with him. It's not soul-splitting or anything, but still...

We took our Christmas card pictures last weekend. The letters and cards are stuffed ready to be mailed, but I thought a sneak preview might be nice. It's not the actual Christmas card pic, but I'm sure you'll get the idea...

In case you can't tell, Ginny has a rockin' Christmas sweater that I found at Target for $2.50. Don't judge me. You would have bought it too.

Speaking of Ginny, she has a new favorite perch lately:

We played in the snow today, Ginny and I. I couldn't resist the snowfall outside, so I tucked my sweatpants into my boots, threw on my coat, and ran around taking pictures of the ball of white fluff frolicking in the fresh snow. How's that for alliteration?

Ok, so I added snow to that one. But I promise the snow was actually falling when I took the picture.
I told you today was all about stream of consciousness. And with that, the hiatus is officially over. I can't say the same about Jake and Ginny's current game of tug-of-war:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

cheer.

word of the day: cheer \ˈchir\ something that gladdens

The Christmas season is upon us.

And my cup of Christmas cheer overfloweth. Yes, overfloweth.

Jake and I spent our evening last night decorating the pool house.

We set up the Christmas tree, nativity scenes, garland lights and stockings.

We hung our silver bulbs, colored bulbs, and modge-podge growing up bulbs (you know, the ones that get passed down from your tree growing up). There is no rhyme or reason to the order and the tinsel is 'sprinkled' on as large globs of silver. Literally.

It's perfect.

Ginny was especially helpful with the homemade popcorn chain this year. And by helpful, I mean she ate about as much popcorn as now hangs on our tree. What that dog won't do for some free handouts.

All that begging really does tire you out, I guess.

There's not much to say other than the fact that the Christmas season is in full force. I think it's safe to say that the snow flurries yesterday officially kicked Fall out of town. I suppose it was time.

For now, I'm perfectly content to drink warm hot chocolate and to sit on my couch listening to every rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock" imaginable.

As long as Jake's not far away with his red flannel pants.

Oh and Ginny.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving.

word of the day: thanksgiving \thaŋ(k)s-ˈgi-viŋ a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

I'm going with the cliche today. But then again, nothing else seemed appropriate.

I am a slave to to do lists. If there is something to be done, I feel compelled to work on it until I can check it off my list. And I usually do just that: work on a task at hand until I can check it off my list.

I entered Thanksgiving break with a pretty lengthy to do list. I had aspirations of grading all 150 paragraphs my students turned in last week. I wanted to finish an online class I have been procrastinating since July. I hoped to read the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

This morning, I woke up and timed my morning routine to end exactly as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade began. I drank coffee wrapped in a blanket and realized that I could, in fact, take a break from the things on my to do list. I could enjoy the holiday without feeling bogged down by the unchecked boxes that generally loom over my head.

And so, it is with great thanksgiving that I sit here in my in-laws' family room on their cozy couch. It is with great thanksgiving that I keep switching my gaze between the football game and the snow falling outside. It is with great thanksgiving that I smell the Turkey permeated from its pan in the oven and anticipate the taste of mashed potatoes on my tongue.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like mashed potatoes.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like family.

I could go on and on about all the things I have to be thankful for, but for now, I'm just thankful to be exactly where I am. I'm thankful to be able to stop moving and recognize the blessing of it all.

Maybe I should start adding "take a break" to my to do lists. Maybe then I would remember to do it more often..

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

breathe.

word of the day: breathe \ˈbrēth\ to pause and rest before continuing

I think Fall is starting to feel like he's overstaying his welcome. How do I know? Because I've worn socks every day for the last week. That's how I know.

Frankly, I'm not ready for Fall to pack his bags yet. I was just thinking the other day that the amount of cider I've had to drink so far is not sufficient and that I haven't even touched a single leaf yet. I don't know why that's a big deal to me, but it seems like during Fall you should at least do something outside with the leaves. Like jump in a pile of them. Or throw them in the air with reckless abandon. I didn't do any of those things.

I took the construction paper autumn leaves off of a cupboard in my classroom today to clear room for the white paper snowflakes I'm going to make my ninth graders cut out tomorrow.

Fall, I'm not trying to run you out of town, rather, I'm trying to prepare myself for your departure. You're welcome to take a later flight if you'd like, but it always seems like once Thanksgiving is come and gone, so are you.

I was sitting on the couch doing some school work the other night when I realized that it had gotten awfully quiet. That's when I looked over and saw this on our other couch:


Somehow Jake has managed to turn Ginny into his lap dog, which is a task I have been attempting to do since the day we brought her home. Either way, I took the same picture three times because of the serenity of it all. It was a picture of rest at its finest.

That's when I remembered break is coming and I started to breathe a little more slowly.

I can part with Fall if it means Christmas music, nights full of peppermint hot chocolate, and every Christmas movie imaginable. I can snap up the suitcase if it means I get to relax with my family and wear my "I believe" t-shirt. I can throw away the green gourd outside of my door if it means I get to make my house explode with green, red, and cheer.

Because, really, what's the holiday season without the cheer?

I taught my students about theme and symbolism last week. We read "The Scarlet Ibis" and now periodically I'll stop class, wistfully sigh, and say, "Doodle."

(The Doodle comment won't make any sense unless you've read the story, which I highly recommend you do. It's short and you will need a box of tissues.)

I'm big on symbolism. In fact, I got so excited about it with one class that I had to stop and catch my breath. When I told them that they were lucky to have a teacher who loved symbolism so much it caused her to gasp for air, they looked at me like I was crazy. They seem to do that a lot.

Anyways, the theme and symbol discussion got me thinking about my own life. I love the concept of story, because I'm a firm believer that we each live a unique story. We live life amidst characters, plot twists, settings, and conflicts. Story is symbolic to me because it means that I hold the pen to write a great story for myself. As I told my 9th graders, the choices we make will write great stories. Or mediocre stories. Or poor stories. **

Either way, we have a story to tell and our lives are going to tell it one way or another.

Whether or not we take advantage of the pen we hold in our hand.

With that said, then, I suppose it's safe to say that our lives contain themes with the different seasons (don't get me started on the symbolism of the seasons).

In college my girlfriends and I used to sporadically ask each other the following questions: "If your life were a book, what would the current chapter be titled?"

I can remember always trying to think of something really philosophical.

What would my current life chapter be called? What's the theme of my life right now?

That's easy.

Breathe.

Jake reminds me of this often. When I feel like my head is going to spin straight off my neck, he nudges me gently and says, "breathe."

When I can't see past the stress of the present day, he first asks me if the stress of my modern office has caused me to go into a depression. Once I crack a smile (and sometimes manage to say,"Depression? Isn't that just a fancy word for bummed out?"), he quietly whispers, "breathe."

Breathe.

Fall may be pulling out my driveway, but the holidays are fast approaching. And for me, the fast pace of the holidays actually seems to remind me to breathe. To take a few minutes to remember what's really important. To take the pen in my hand and write a good story. Both figuratively and literally.

On a totally unrelated, and yet absolutely necessary note, I read almost all of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last week before seeing the movie last Saturday. Besides falling back in love with my old friends, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I have now re-familiarized myself with all the spells.

With the said, Accio suitcase. I need to pack my bags for vacation.

Fall's not the only one busting out of town.

**If the idea of writing your own life story resonates with you, then I strongly recommend you read the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. It will rock your world.

Friday, November 12, 2010

musings.


word of the day: musings \ˈmyüz-ing\ thoughtfully abstracted

It has been a weird week. In fact, that's kind of an understatement, but we'll go with it. Because of the nature of the past few days, today is a day for musings. Today is a day for disconnected thoughts and incomplete sentences. Even though that is the exact opposite of what I taught my students today.

Do you remember the office episode where Kelly sings "This day is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. This day is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"? The office was in chaos because of the product recall and she had to train the accountants to be customer service reps. If my memory serves me correctly, directly following her adaptation ofHollaback Girl, Angela pops an aspirin into her mouth.

I literally almost sang that song to my students on Wednesday. And today, I popped two Ibuprofins right before 7th block. The nature of the week.

I usually leave for school somewhere between 6:15 and 6:30. That gives me time to stop for my tri-weekly latte and get to school by 7:15.

This morning I woke up at 7:00.

I walked out the door 16 minutes later and arrived at school promptly at 7:45 (my required time of arrival).

I wore flip-flops on Tuesday. That's usually unheard of in the middle of November, and I reveled in the opportunity.

On Wednesday, I felt like I should have had a runway to walk down. Ever have those days? Those days where you are wearing the most fabulous outfit and you wish everyone you know could see you in it? Those are the days you plan out in advance. I'm pretty sure I walked with some extra confidence all day mostly because of the way my new black flats clicked when I walked. Nothing says "There's a teacher coming" like clicky shoes. I'm just sayin'.

I wish I had taken a picture of myself so I could insert it here.

But I didn't.

My classroom was super hot this week. So hot that my students' faces were flushed and that I have now resorted to keeping one set of lights off to eliminate any extra heat.

I reacquainted myself with a old friend this last week. He hadn't changed, really. He was packing and emptying out a dusty suitcase when I finally found time to meet him. He couldn't stay long. Something about horcruxes to destroy.

It doesn't fall under the realm of this week, but I recently redeemed myself for the "Barfalaya" incident of 2008. Jake was a little wary when I told him I was attempting Jambalaya again, but has informed me that this most recent recipe will be requested in the future.

I did a sentence mini-lesson with my students yesterday and today. Now, grammar lessons are not typically very fun for kids, but I have learned that kids will do anything for a LifeSaver candy. Anything. It's almost bizarre the lengths they will go to for a 5 calorie circle of high fructose corn syrup. I had them write on their white boards examples of simple, compound, and complex sentences. Their examples had me rolling.
Mrs. Flinkman will give me a LifeSaver.

I want to eat a LifeSaver, but Mrs. Flinkman will not give me one.

Mrs. Flinkman is beautiful, and I am jealous of her.

LifeSavers have healing powers; however, I have not received one yet.

When I get home from school today, I will study sentence types all night.

Conjunctive adverbs have the best of me; I am not very good at English anyways.
I urged my kids to write complete sentences today, and tonight, I find myself unable to put more than one thought together. Instead, I just want to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of cider and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Bonus points to any reader who can name all seven FANBOYS. In fact, I'll give you a LifeSaver if you can tell me what FANBOYS even are.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

time III.

word of the day: time \ˈtīm\ one of a series of recurring instances or repeated actions

The clock in my bathroom says 9:45.

That's right. I put batteries in the clock.

Booya.

I realized tonight that each of my time entries (see time and time II) defines the word differently. At first it was a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future. Then it meant conditions at present or at some specified period.season.

Well, whatever it was, now it's just a series of recurring instances, or thoughts for that matter.

I cleaned the whole house last Thursday. I scoured the bathroom, dusted the tables, and vacuumed the floors. To top it all off, I whipped up a batch of chili, lit some candles, and drank a glass of wine while I waited for Jake to come home.

We attended a Halloween "Decap-athalon" last Saturday night and I didn't know so much effort could be put into celebrating the holiday. We threw darts at "arteries", ate "concoctions", and "dug our own graves" so to speak. Oh, and we laughed. A lot.

Jack and Sally:
A turkey being hunted:
And the Black Eyed Peas:
One of my classes told me that our costume was lame. I'd like to think that they just haven't developed a sense of humor and/or love of wordplay yet. I'll get through to them one of these days.

Jake and I started creating our costumes approximately an hour and a half before the party began. Time was not at the forefront of our mind.

In other news, Jake and I performed our civic duty by voting tonight. In fact, we closed down the poll at St. Mark's Lutheran Church as voter #639 and #640 respectively. We walked out of the church and into the cool fall air feeling a sense of accomplishment. I think the feeling of accomplishment came more from the fact that we got off our butts and out of the house, but either way, it felt good.

I didn't have time to vote.

I didn't have time to spend two hours getting reading for a Halloween party.

I didn't have time to take a magic wand to the mess that was my living room.

You know, I almost didn't change my clock. I almost left it at 3:21 due to rebellion alone. For some reason, letting the hands stand still was my excuse to let a lack of time run my life. I mean, if I don't even have time to put batteries in my clock, how do I have time to do anything else?

Our pastor asked us the following question last Sunday:
Do you love the church as Christ loves the church?
That's when it hit me I suppose. That's when I realized that I have been so focused on my lack of time that I have turned it into an excuse to keep me from serving.

I think I was starting to convince myself that people shouldn't expect too much out of me because they should understand that I just don't have time. I mean, come on people, I don't even have time to change the batteries in my clock.

Some logic, huh?

Truth be told, I had time to clean my house last week.

I had plenty of time to tease my hair and paint my fingernails black on Saturday.

I had time to cast my vote.

I have time to write this blog post even though I usually abide by a very strict 10:00 bed time. So I get a three-shot latte in the morning. What's the big deal?

The big deal is that the clock in my bathroom now says 10:25 and I feel like it's ok to be more focused on this train of thought than on my lesson plan for tomorrow.

And with that, I'm going to bed. It's way past my bedtime.

Friday, October 29, 2010

high fidelity.

word of the day: high fidelity \ˈhī - fə-ˈde-lə-tē, fī-\ the reproduction of an effect (as sound or an image) that is very faithful to the original

I never saw the movie High Fidelity. In fact, I don't even know what it's about. The only thing I know about it is that John Cusack is the main character. Every time I think about the movie, I think about my friend, Kelly, because she hates John Cusack. She wouldn't even watch Serendipity with us in college because of her disdain. Well, that and the fact that it was a totally lame movie.

The picture to your left is Kelly watching a movie before Holli's wedding. It seemed appropriate.

This post isn't about the movie High Fidelity, though. It's mostly about faithfulness.

I've been thinking a lot about faithfulness ever since Jake was accepted into medical school. Upon hearing the news, people's responses usually went something like, "Praise God!", "That's an answer to prayer!", or "God is faithful!". All of the above are true and we definitely felt the answered prayers, but something just made me keep dwelling on the word.

It was a word that got stuck in my head. And usually when a word gets buried in my head there's a lesson to be dug out. But you know that by now.

I suppose it made me wonder what people would have said if Jake had been rejected. I doubt the responses would have been filled with such resounding joy, but does that mean it would have made God any less faithful?

Like I say to my students: Do I really have to answer that?

God's faithfulness isn't contingent upon the outcome of the situation. God's faithfulness is present in everything. It is abundant in the "good" and in the "bad". I thank God for the fact that Jake was denied acceptance last year. I needed him around this year.

If you're someone who proclaimed God's faithfulness when Jake was accepted, then don't get me wrong, I agree with you. I'm thankful for the excitement and joy you directed toward us. I just can't help but think that I only acknowledge God's faithfulness when I feel as though everything is falling into place. It's easy to see His faithfulness when our prayers are answered in the ways we hope.

I went back to Hosea today. God continues to entice me to the desert and He continues to whisper truth to me while I'm there.
I will betroth you to me forever;
Yes I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
And I will betroth you to me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the LORD.
-Hosea 2:19-20
God is faithful. It is not just a character trait. It is simply part of His nature - His character. He epitomizes the word itself.

The chapter of my devotional tonight was "the faithful heart" and as I began, I was excited to be reminded of God's faithfulness. I wanted to focus on how much He loves me and how He continues to draw me to Himself.

[insert buzzer sound] wrong.

Well, I mean, I did read about that.

But more than anything, I was reminded that I can't just stop at the part where I revel in God's faithfulness. I have to give it back. I have to surrender myself and all that I cling to outside of Him.

I was reminded tonight about the reciprocal nature of faith. I can talk until I'm blue in the face about how faithful God is. I've experienced it. I've felt it. But what good is God's faithfulness in my life if I don't offer it straight back?

In The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, Hannah Whitall Smith says,
"He has given you all, and He asks for all in return. The slightest reserve will grieve Him to the heart. He spared not Himself, and how can you spare yourself? For your sake He poured out in a lavish abandonment all that He had, and for His sake you must pour out all that you have, with-out stint or measure. Oh, be generous in your self-surrender!"
My reserve grieves God.

And yet, He continues to call me into the desert.

High fidelity. Apparently, a high fidelity system recreates sound. And the sound that it plays back is almost identical to the original. In fact, were you to cover your eyes and play back the recording, you would not be able to determine the difference between the playback and the original. It's that real. It's that perfectly representative of the original recording.

Oh to have a high fidelity faith. Oh to serve with the same reckless abandon as God. Oh to act as a perfect recording of the example He sets for me. I am reminded today of my need to strive for such faithfulness. I am reminded today of how often I don't.

Upon further investigation, High Fidelity the movie is about a guy and a bunch of breakups. If you were to ask Kelly, she wouldn't blame all the girls. I mean, it is John Cusack after all.

I often think about my life as a story. If my story were titled High Fidelity, I'd like to think that it would hold a much different meaning. And a different actor. Because, frankly, I'm with Kelly on that one.


"High Fidelity (2000) - IMDb." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 30 Oct. 2010. .

Martin, Catherine. "The Faithful Heart." A Heart That Dances: Satisfy Your Desire for Intimacy with God. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2003. Print.

Strickland, Jonathan. "HowStuffWorks "High Fidelity"" Howstuffworks "Electronics" Web. 30 Oct. 2010. .


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

arrive.

word of the day: arrive \ə-ˈrīv\ to achieve success

Today, I arrived. Today I mark myself as an official teacher. Yes, it's true. I have made it.

I suppose some background is required.

One of my favorite classes in college was United States History. I think most of the reason I loved the class was because Dr. Gundlach, the professor, loved the subject that he taught so much. His passion for all that was founding father was evident and I soaked it all in.

I remember one day very vividly. Dr. Gundlach walked in a little late. He made his way to the front and got all his things in order before he spoke. He told us he was sorry he was late, but he had a small mishap right before class. Apparently he had spilled coffee all over his desk and the papers that were covering it. He was late because he was trying to dry out all that the coffee had touched.

He then went on to tell us that you are not officially a teacher until you spill coffee all over your desk. He arrived that day. He made it. Just as I did today.

This morning started out as any other. I stopped at Rich's on my way to work for my usual two-shot, large vanilla latte. I adorned the lid with a pumpkin sticker and went on my way. Once at school, I walked into my room, turned on the light, and walked down the hallway to put my lunch in the refrigerator.

When I returned, there it was. The styrofoam cup stood proudly on my desk and the pumpkin glanced up at me with its goofy grin. I went to take a drink, missed my mouth completely (which shouldn't surprise anyone), and poured coffee all over the clean pages of my lesson plan book.

I stared proudly at the stain before I could bring myself to clean it up. This was it. The moment I had been waiting for. I had arrived.

Obviously I told my students. And obviously their response was an immediate round of applause. I don't think any other response would have been appropriate.

So there you have it. Let it be known that on Tuesday, October 26th I, Molly Flinkman, have officially become a teacher. I have also officially started looking for the opening of my coffee lid before I take a drink.

Maybe that's the greater achievement...