Synopses & Reviews
Based on a beloved teachers 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 Davids 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 couldnt 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 wouldnt 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 Americas heartland and San Franciscos Golden Gate, and visiting hundreds of his students, Davids 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.
"A lot of people could write about what they would do if they were told they only had a short time to live, but few could write as thoughtfully, and with as much honesty, as David has with The Priority List. This former skate punk turned English teacher's life lessons will inspire anyone who reads them." Jim Lindberg of Pennywise
“Within Davids journey, there are powerful lessons about how we connect to one another, and how even the smallest gestures can leave a lasting legacy. THE PRIORITY LIST is a brave and important book, which at its deepest level reminds us what it means to be human." Jerry DeWitt, author of Hope After Faith
"A lot of people could write about what they would do if they were told they only had a short time to live, but few could write as thoughtfully, and with as much honesty, as David has with The Priority List. This former skate punk turned English teacher's life lessons will inspire anyone who reads them." < b=""> Jim Lindberg of < i=""> Pennywise <> <>
“Within David’s journey, there are powerful lessons about how we connect to one another, and how even the smallest gestures can leave a lasting legacy. THE PRIORITY LIST is a brave and important book, which at its deepest level reminds us what it means to be human." < b=""> Jerry DeWitt, author of < i=""> Hope After Faith <> <>
"In an abstract way, we all know that life is short and precious. Or, at least, we THINK we know. But for David Menasche — a passionate young teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 34 — that notion was anything but abstract. Filled with a wide-eyed reverence for life, he set off on an audacious journey around the country, determined to visit all his old students and speak to them (and listen to them) about the true priorities of existence. The result is a beautiful, heartfelt, and ultimately important story about love, kinship, gratitude, and miracles." Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things
"When cancer told David Menasche his teaching days were over, he told cancer: With all due respect, you don't know me very well. Writing with courage and strength, his determination to share life's lessons beyond his classroom is both inspirational and enlightening." Ron Clark, American educator and New York Times bestselling author of The Essential 55 and The End of Molasses Classes
"A beautiful meditation." Kirkus Reviews
"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." Publisher - ' - s Weekly
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 grew up a skate punk with a love for literature and a lack of direction. Hes careful never to say that he fell into teaching but that he “rose up to it.” He taught English at Miamis magnet school, 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.