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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015

A.D. 2014 has been a great year.

First of all, my mother celebrated her 69th birthday on December 6th. In 2005, when she was 59, she went missing for a week during Hurricane Katrina. When the storm hit, she was alone at my sister’s house in Meraux, which filled with water in five minutes as the levee broke directly behind my sister’s subdivision.

We thought my mother had died. She did not.

In October, my mother attended her 50th high school reunion.

I was her date. It was my first 50th reunion. 😉


With my mother, October 12, 2014

Very good news, indeed.

Other Schneider news from 2014:

I published one book and wrote a second, due for publication late spring 2015.

In 2014 alone, I wrote 272 blog posts, including this one.

I spoke publicly on education issues ten times and in five states: Louisiana, Texas, New York, Indiana, and Maine.

I was on local television four times and interviewed on film for two documentaries, all on behalf of public education.

I was on the radio, both locally and nationally. several times, speaking on behalf of public education.

My blog had almost half a million hits from 167 countries.

The least amount of sleep I had on a school night was 3 hours, 45 minutes. This happened twice, and both times, I successfully taught a full day.

I used only two sick days.

I kept up with my grading.

In July, learned how to successfully replace the ignition lock mechanism in my 2003 Honda Pilot. (My incentive for this venture was purely financial– the anticipated cost to have Honda complete the repair was between $400 and $1000. By learning to do so myself, the cost was only $140.)

I maintained a decent manicure.

In 2013, I had a surgery, a side effect of which is occasional, painful muscle spasms in my abdomen. In 2014, I better trained myself regarding how to “hold” my ab muscles in order to avoid the spasms.

I learned that I like drinking lattes.

I read four books for fun– Pride and Prejudice, RIta Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Great Divorce, and Heaven Is for Real— and started a fifth– A Christmas Carol.

I painted my bathroom.

I dodged needing reading glasses for another year.

And here is my topper:

Over Christmas break, I actually lost a few pounds. My strategy? Certainly not skipping holiday treats. I enjoy food too much for that. Instead, I added sprints to my exercise routine. Insurance. 😉

Happy New Year, all.  Here’s to 2015!

  1. Gary Tobin permalink

    Thank You for everything you are, everything you do and everything you are doing….
    Happy New Year….

  2. Terry Burdette permalink

    You amaze me…the volume of work you accomplished… meaningful work indeed…I know the time it took me to follow the corporate takeover in just one of my four preps!! health and happiness and success in all your endeavors to you in 2015!! Terry Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2015 12:02:47 +0000 To:

  3. Michelle Bandor permalink

    Happy New Year and thanks for sharing your news & accomplishments from 2014! I was particularly impressed by your ability to teach a full day—twice!—on just 3 hours of sleep and your self-taught auto repair! But I was most interested in hearing about your abdominal spasms after that surgery. I had a surgery in 2007 and also experience those strange ab spasms, which are like a painful “charlie-horse.” I will have to try your technique for managing them. Thanks again!

    All the best to you in 2015!

    Michelle (from Indiana)

    • Michelle, when my abs feel a certain way, like a spasm could come, I have to be mindful to relax them– and this includes not stretching, extending, or twisting in those moments.

      I am especially susceptible to spasms on my left side, and when I get one, I can see my ab muscle contort– it looks like half of a baseball.

  4. Ellen Lubic permalink

    Wishing you another wildly successful year, my dear Mercedes. Look forward to your coming to LA one day. You are so lucky to have such a young mother, and she of course is so lucky to have such a gifted daughter. I remember the start up of your site, and you have provided us all so much excellent research info that I continue to thank you.

  5. You have had a great year, and you have made a difference. It doesn’t get any better than that. Many thanks for all you do!

  6. Impressive. Happy New Year.

  7. Teacher to teacher. Great news for 2014- and wonderful Hurricane Katrina story. Keep bringing your research on the “educational e-industrial complex” my term borrowed from Ike’s “military industrial complex” warnings. Someday I’d like to share my own Hurricane Katrina education story. Best to you and your students. Happy New Year. Geaux UNO.

  8. ira shor permalink

    You and your blog are two of the best things that happened in 2014 to all of us.

  9. sprawler47 permalink

    When I was almost down and out at the BS crap going on in my state and started reading your blog, I no longer felt so alone…and I thank you for the help and advice you have given..Let 2015 be the year of the corporate reform blow out~!

  10. KrazyTA permalink

    Thank you for following the advice of a very old and very dead and very Greek guy:

    “And what he greatly thought, he noble dared.” [Homer]


    Yes, in both word and deed, in defense of a great and noble idea: public education.

    For all. No exclusions. No excuses. Whatever it takes.

    A happy and healthy new year.


  11. You give us all so much hope and information, Mercedes. Have a great 2015 (I can’t wait to read your book!).

  12. Linda permalink

    Thanks for writing, Who’s Who in the Implosion of Public Education. The book identifies America’s enemies. With focus on them, 2015 may be the year that, the general public learns of and punishes their treachery.

  13. Cheryl permalink

    You provide consistent knowledge and wisdom. Looking forward to another year with you/your posts:)
    Happy New Year!

  14. Happy New Year! I “Believe” that this year will mark the beginning of the end of John White’s miserable Reign of Error thanks in great part to your research, persistence and devotion.

  15. Around the Pond permalink

    I would imagine that I am not alone in feeling humbled when observing all the research and writing that you conduct while maintaining a full teaching load (and a decent manicure!). Thank you for so many contributions on behalf of students, educators, and our aspirations toward a more complete democracy.

  16. Lorrie Butler permalink

    Best Wishes for a Happy 2015. Thank you for all your meticulous work in exposing those who would destroy public education. You’ve been a fantastic teacher in 2014 and many of your students never have stepped into your classroom, but you brought yourself to us instead. May 2015, be the year of the fall of public education deforms and may communities everywhere take their public schools back and support them so our democracy can thrive.

  17. Mercedes, you are phenomenal! Reading your blogs with the knowledge that you write them while handling a full course load teaching high school writing leaves me in awe.

    Thank you for making such a huge contribution in this struggle to save our profession.

    Happy, healthy new year to you and yours!

  18. PNW_WarriorWoman permalink

    Wow…all that and STILL maintained a decent manicure. You are a Warrior Woman!

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