How a semiliterate University of Memphis football player educated himself while facing countless obstacles:

You can’t hide for long in college when you’re semiliterate. But somehow Mr. Cathey slipped through his freshman year with just under a C average, taking classes like elementary algebra and music appreciation. Then he saw the syllabus for HIST 2010: U.S. to 1877, his sophomore history class. How would he ever finish five books in four months?

He knew there was only one way: He had to go back to the beginning.

After practice every night, he would close the door to his room in the Carpenter Complex, reach under his bed, and pull out his 10 learn-to-read books. Twenty minutes, he thought, looking down at his watch. I’ve got to beat 20.

“The Education of Dasmine Cathey.” — Brad Wolverton, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Photos: Lance Murphey

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