The Priority List

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       February 12, 2014


Author  David Menasche

ISBN:                 9781743317846
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    


When David Menasche was given days, maybe weeks or possibly even a year to live, it was not what he wanted to hear. He did not want to be told his life as he knew and enjoyed it was all but over, finished, final, the end. This could simply not be happening to him, he was going to fight it, prove them all wrong and still be able to make a difference in his student’s lives.

This is his story on challenging the odds and while not winning, certainly making a difference.

He was 34 years old with a future  ahead of him which allowed him to enjoy what he felt was his particular calling on this earth, that of teaching and being a teacher of English to high school kids.

Menasche loved his work, loved his “kids”, loved his wife, loved his family and mostly loved what he was doing.

In some respects he did prove the medical fraternity wrong, particularly in his life span, now going on for more than six years since his original diagnosis, when he decided that all their treatment was largely experimental, that by this stage of his illness, was making him feel so much less than he wanted to be and took back his life, ceasing his treatment regime.

Deciding that instead of being a victim, in every sense of the word, to the condition, he set out to discover what, if any difference he had made over his years of teaching in the lives of his former students.  He had never travelled far from his home state but now was the time to go forth and discover the rest of America while he was still able.

It took a giant leap of faith to be able to decide to travel the width of America, coast to coast, relying on the good auspices of his former students to feed and shelter him in his quest to not only discover what had become of his students, but also to make his journey his classroom.

He placed a post on Facebook a about his intentions and was immediately swamped with love, offers and prayers of support for his journey

He travelled more than twelve thousand miles, with poor vision, poor memory and poor mobility in his quest to discover what it is a we all need and want in our lives, what our priorities are all about even when things are at their lowest point.

This is a reflective piece in that it is looking back over a life well spent at the age of 40, but also discovering that life, with all its twists and turns is for living until the very last moment of your time, has a habit of making you reflect on what is important in your life; –reflecting on just what is on your priority list.