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, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. Cancer had taken his past and would certainly, at some point, take his future, but he wouldn't allow it to take his present. He put out a call on Facebook and within hours of posting his plan to travel the country, former students now living in more than fifty cities replied with offers to help and couches to sleep on. The lasting lessons he collected on his journey make up The Priority List.
Based on one of Menasche’s favorite lessons, The Priority List is a remarkable book of insights that explores many of life’s biggest themes, such as love, wealth, family, ambition, and friends, and asks us all to consider what really matters.
"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."
“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."