3 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. German now stands in a line with that of the most learned nations in richness of erudition and advance in the sciences. It is too of common descent with the language of our own Country, a branch of the same Original Gothic Stock, and furnishes Valuable illustrations for us. But in this point of View the Anglo-Saxon is of peculiar value. We have placed it among the modern languages because it is in fact that which we speak, in the earliest form in which we have knowledge of it. It has been undergoing, with time, those gradual changes which all languages, antient and modern, have experienced: and even now, needs only to be printed in the Modern character and Orthography, to be intelligible in a considerable degree to an English reader

      Clearly the frame workers of the college put considerable weight upon the learning of foreign languages. I admire the kind of insight that the writers had when nothing that the German language lead to considerable advances in sciences. During the time in which this was written, it was not often considered as to how language changes the way you think. There are many distinctions that come from speaking a different language, some obvious, many very subtle and elusive. An example of this would be the fact that German speakers often focus on goal oriented details when constructing a sentence because the nature of their verbs are not as versatile as in English. Studies have shown that Germans can predict goal oriented behavior better when viewing an action, while English speakers focus more solely on the actions themselves. This is a subtle distinction, but it evidences that the differences exist, and these differences can culminate to big implications in terms of ways of thinking. To bring this full circle, UVA requires me to take a foreign language; but UVA has also come to the point in which they offer classes that study specifically Language and Thought. This may not have been in the original plan, but has become an offshoot based upon the broad curriculum that was originally setup for the school to branch off of.

  2. Sep 2017
    1. as those who come after us shall find expedient. They will be more advanced than we are, in science and in useful arts, and will know best what will suit the circumstances of their day.

      The foresight of the charterers is pretty incredible to read through. This concept of foresight really came to a head during the enlightenment period. We see it in the exhaustive efforts for creating a US constitution (or a US in general), and this example shows the continuation of this mindset; it might be worthy to note that a founder had considerable provision over the creation of this school. Before contrasting this mindset of foresight with modern mindsets, it's important to note that this concept was applied because of the context of the situation: the beginning of a nation, or the beginning of a university. This makes it obvious as to why we see multiple examples of foresight being explicitly mentioned. At the same time, just because the nation is not still in its toddler phase, does not mean we should so easily become accustomed to thinking with limits to only our lives and none thereafter. It seems apparent that the concept of foresight has steadily fallen out of the norm with parts of society that are in power positions. As aforementioned, the context of our current state clearly shows why it would decrease from the times in which our nation was beginning; but this does not make the fall any more acceptable. With the advent of newer technology and quicker forms of gratification, it seems as though there has been a rise in short-term goals, solutions, and mindsets. Of course, these are broad generalizations; nevertheless, I don't hear or see much foresight in a lot of society today as refreshing as what we see in the works of our nation's- and our university's- founders.

    2. It is therefore greatly to be wished, that preliminary schools, either on private or public establishment, would be distributed in districts thro the state, as preparatory to the entrance of Students into the University. The tender age at which this part of education commences, generaly about the tenth year, would weigh heavily with parents in sending their sons to a school so distant as the Central establishment would be from most of them.

      We see here the great emphasis on understanding languages. The idea of teaching ancient languages has nearly plummeted out of schools across America, with my high school here in Virginia eliminating the Latin department. During the time of UVA's chartering, it was clear that the studies of these ancient languages was imperative to a comprehensive education by their standards. I have found very little usage of my modern foreign language education and currently consider it a complete failure of the education system unless one were to specialize in their respective language (although the charter does maintain that other languages than the ancient will be taught, my point is that the emphasis on ancient language has diminished heavily). I see Latin and Greek, on the other hand, as relatively useful for multiple facets of education. This part of the charter provides a clear contrast in education motives between historical and modern expectations.