Analysis Of The Education Of Dasmine Cathey By Brad Wolverton

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Brad Wolverton’s “The Education of Dasmine Cathey” peers into the life of student-athlete Dasmine Cathey and the academic struggles imposed on him through his environment. Wolverton’s evaluative argument, or an argument that scrutinizes every aspect of a chosen subject, utilizes a variety of rhetorical strategies and techniques such pathetic appeals through the inclusion of photographs and the use of imagery in the various scenes of Dasmine’s life in the article. To understand Wolverton’s argument, it is important to review his credentials—as a former senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where this article was first published, Wolverton has written dozens of articles critiquing the college athletic system since 2005. Due to …show more content…

There are many sections in the article which detail Cathey’s failures in various semesters where Wolverton could have simply stated that Dasmine failed his classes. Instead of this, Wolverton goes beyond the minimum and uses excerpts from Dasmine’s social media posts, transcripts from recorded conversations, as well as old college assignments, all in an attempt to “show” Dasmine’s impotence. For instance, on page Wolverton is ruthless with his descriptions, with one of his more notable statements being “he[Dasmine] misspelled ‘magazine’ 13 times”(332). The author refrains from putting Cathey’s writing into his own, instead simply showing the excerpts to the audience. Take a Facebook message from Dasmine that Wolverton included: “Ok time to go running for a month I need track sprint shoe size 12 or 11.5”(333). The audience, comprised of university faculty, would be the most shocked by these inclusions, as they have the best knowledge about the quality of work needed to pass in college. To read Dasmine’s incredibly poor quality of work forces the audience to think, How can someone turn in this poor quality of work and manage to pass? Expecting this reaction, Wolverton juxtaposes the reader’s expectations with comments from his teachers after each excerpt. For example, in page 331, …show more content…

Wolverton ensures that the audience knows of Dasmine’s part in his failures. Despite the unfair help granted to him by the various mentors and faculty that surround him, Dasmine still lacks self-accountability. Wolverton shows this trait through details such as Dasmine having children with two women out of wedlock and his continued reluctance to attend class. There are two more factors that Wolverton argues caused Dasmine’s failures—his home environment and his k-12 education. Wolverton goes into detail regarding Dasmine’s environment—the people he surrounds himself with, most of which having been jailed before, as well as his home in South Memphis, which Wolverton describes as one of Memphis’s “bleakest spots”(327). The ills of the K-12 system are not stated but implied—for instance, the previously mentioned quote about many athletes having at or below seventh-grade reading levels implies the failures of the K-12 system to properly educate these

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