Sunday, April 13, 2014

Knoop Sop

A little late but here is K for Knoop Sop in the A to Z challenge:

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One of my favourite books as a little girls was called Knoop Sop. The book told a story of a young woman who went to visit her cousin. Whilst visiting, she became very hungry, however the cousin would not give her any food because he was incredibly stingy. The woman told her cousin never mind, she would just make knoop sop (translates to button soup). So she pulled a button off her shirt and put it in a pot of water. She put the pot of water with the button on the stove and starting stirring. The cousin was fascinated. So the woman told the cousin, "you know what goes really well with knoop sop? Some herbs!" The cousin was so curious about the idea of making soup with a button that he went into his garden, collected some herbs and offered it to the woman to add to the soup. The woman kept stirring her knoop sop, this time saying that a hunk of beef really sets of the flavour of the button. Again, the curious cousin collected some meat to contribute to the soup. At the end of the story, the woman invites the whole neighbourhood for soup. A soup which at this point contained water, a button, herbs, beef, an assortment of vegetables, salt and pepper.

Now granted, the woman in this story doesn't get any honesty points, but there is a very good lesson to learn here. Even if it seems that there is nothing or nobody around to help, even when the situation is bleak, hard, challenging, there is always something you can do. It is very simple to say things like that's just the way the cookie crumbles, or that's the way the world works, or that things will never change. But, those are just excuses for not ripping the button of your shirt and starting on something, anything. It comes down to that famous quote - be the change you want to see in the world. Sometimes you have to start small, with a plastic button, but you must start. And from there, you just eat the elephant - one bite at a time.

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I am one of the enormously lucky educators who work at a brand new school. A school who is busy eating an elephant. The people there believe that we need to change something about schools, and all of them started even before they got to Hobsonville Point Secondary. They ripped off a button on their shirts and began to change something, anything. Tomorrow we start the eleventh week of being a school and I am proud to say that in our journey of changing the way that a secondary school can operate, we have at least started eating our elephant. Although, we have found that taking too large bites means that we choke on the elephant, we are still going. But we are learning to nibble. Especially since we have got ourself such a large elephant. But as long as we are taking things one bite at a time, eventually, we will have eaten our elephant and ended up with an extraordinary school.

So today, I would like to challenge you to nibble on an elephant too. To rip off a button from your shirt, and to change that thing that your heart is telling you to. It might be trying something different in your classroom, it might be joining a protest, it could be anything. Just start, and then before you know it, the opportunities will come, and you won't be the only one nibbling on your elephant.