The Education of Dasmine Cathey

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He hid them in a shoebox under his bed. "My own little secret," he said. Inside the box, he kept 10 thin paperbacks he was given as a child. For years he didn't touch them. But as he reached 19, they became a lifeline. Each night after dinner, he closed his dorm-room door, reached under his bed, and opened the box. Resting his head against the blanket his grandmother had made him, he pulled out the books: "First Grade, Level 1, Ages 6-7. " Quietly, so none of his teammates would hear, he read aloud, moving his finger across the page. *** The words are tattooed on his arms: "Family First. " But 23-year-old Dasmine Cathey looks after far more people than that. A buddy who just spent four years in jail.... read the full post.

Excerpt/Analysis: This story is heartbreaking. And it's an all too familiar one. I was shocked when I taught freshmen-level writing classes with the reading and writing abilities of some of the student athletes. The story of Dasmine Cathey is incredibly complex. I tweeted last night that "the system is broken," and someone retorted that this wasn't just about education. Indeed. "The system." It's broken. This is a story of race and class and gender and bodies and mind and community and individual responsibility.


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