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The Priority List: A Teacher's Final Quest to Discover Life's Greatest Lessonsby David Menasche
Synopses & Reviews
Based on a beloved teacher’s most popular lesson, The Priority List is a bold, inspirational story of learning, love, and legacy that challenges us to ask: What truly matters in life?
David Menasche lived for his work as a high school English teacher. His passion inspired his students, and between lessons on Shakespeare and sentence structure, he forged a unique bond with his kids, buoying them through personal struggles while sharing valuable life lessons.
When a six-year battle with brain cancer ultimately stole David’s vision, memory, mobility, and—most tragically of all—his ability to continue teaching, he was devastated by the thought that he would no longer have the chance to impact his students’ lives each day.
But teaching is something Menasche just couldn’t quit. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead of him, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. Cancer had robbed him of his past and would most certainly take his future; he wouldn’t allow it to steal his present. He turned to Facebook with an audacious plan: a journey across America— by bus, by train, by red-tipped cane—in hopes of seeing firsthand how his kids were faring in life. Had he made a difference? Within forty-eight hours of posting, former students in more than fifty cities replied with offers of support and shelter.
Traveling more than eight thousand miles from Miami to New York, to America’s heartland and San Francisco’s Golden Gate, and visiting hundreds of his students, David’s fearless journey explores the things we all want and need out of life—family, security, independence, love, adventure—and forces us to stop to consider our own Priority List.
"In fall 2006, high school teacher Menasche, then age 34, was diagnosed with an aggressive and deadly type of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme. Despite these challenges, in November 2012 he embarked on a journey — or Vision Quest, as he calls it — to recover his past by reconnecting with former students. Menasche, the son of booksellers, places literature at the center of his thinking and enlists it as a primary means of coping. A successful technique he used with students, the 'priority list,' was useful in ranking the importance of different values and provided an effective tool for identify one's own motivations. His chutzpah and quirky sense of humor more than explain Menasche's popularity at Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami; after announcing his road trip on Facebook, former students in 50 cities agreed to meet with him and offered hospitality. By reconsidering his priorities, letting others care for him, and giving in to the 'beautiful turmoil' of his illness, Menasche has been able to accept the break-up of his marriage and retirement from his job while reaping surprising rewards from his quest. Like Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, this memoir is a rousing testimony to the ways in which, in the face of death, living fully in the present moment becomes possible. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In this poignant and inspiring memoir, a beloved high school English teacher with terminal brain cancer undertakes a cross-country journey to reunite with his former students in order to find out if he made a difference in their lives, discovering along the way what is truly important in life.
At thirty-four years old, David Menasche was diagnosed with brain cancer. Six years later and fifteen years after he began teaching, Menasche suffered a catastrophic seizure that began to steal his vision, memories, mobility, and perhaps most tragically of all--his ability to continue teaching.
But teaching is something David Menasche can't quit. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead of him,
About the Author
David Menasche majored in journalism at Eugene Lang College and the New School for Social Research. He later earned his teacher certification from Florida International University and taught at the renowned Coral Reef Senior High School for fifteen years. In 2012, he was awarded Teacher of the Year by his region. He lives in New Orleans.
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