A former English teacher from Florida was on a quest to find out what his former high school students were up to after they graduated.
So…41-year old, David Menasche took to the road, traveling all over North America, learning life lessons of his own.
Chicago, Boston, San Francisco are just a few cities that Menasche who taught at Coral Reef Senior High School for 15 years, visited to catch up with former students. He took his cross-country trip by train, car, and sometimes hitch hiking.
“I put a post on Facebook, asking former students if they had a couch available. In 48 hours, I had offers in 50 cities,” he said.
This adventure was so important to him after being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006, when he was just 34 years old. In 2012, he suffered a catastrophic seizure, and lost mobility on his left side of his body and 80 percent of his vision.
“I wanted to know if I made a difference and if so what that difference was,” Menasche said.
An unexpected journey that came about after he was hit with a tough reality.
“I had to give up teaching, but I wasn’t done with my students. We got to know each other again as adults and as peers,” he said.
On his trips this traveling teacher wanted to know what assignment, which he taught stuck out in his student’s minds the most.
“Time and time again they said, “The Priority List”.
“The Priority List” was an assignment where the students were given a list of 26 things like love, family, and wealth. Their assignment was to rank them in order of personal importance.
“I wasn’t defining the words for them,” he said.
David chronicled his adventures on the road with his former students in his new book,”The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons”.
While on the road he kept recordings which eventually lead to him writing the book.
Right now, he said, his top priority is strength. Strength wasn’t even on his original list.
“Since losing my sight and the use of my left side of the body. That is my new number one,” he said.
Menasche now lives in New Orleans.
“It’s a place that really knows how to live. Since I don’t have too much time left, I wanted to be in a place that really enjoyed itself,” he said.
Brain cancer is not going to stop him from discovering life’s greatest lessons.
“There is still a way to live a life of purpose, fulfillment, and adventure,” he said.
You see…this teacher never stops teaching.
He spent a total of 101 days on the road, visiting 31 cities, and visiting nearly 100 students.
Menasche is an Ambassador for Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC). Voices Against Brain Cancer is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping find a cure for brain cancer and brain tumors by advancing scientific research and increasing awareness.
Over the years, Menasche taught over 3,000 students, and in 2012 he was awarded Teacher of the year by his region.
“The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest To Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons” is now available where all books are sold.
For more information on David Menasche:
For more information on Voices Against Brain Cancer: