- Oct 2017
Acoustics or Phonics, the theory of sound
I find it interesting that Acoustics and Phonics are labeled together. Both fall under the category of sound, however, one has to do with both music and architecture while the other has to do with language. Acoustics, for Thomas Jefferson at least, seemed to have been very important to his architectural design. The echo-chamber that is the Dome Room is something that Thomas Jefferson must have thought about, and I'm sure that this would influence his desire to have the same subject taught in the University. At this time period, phonics would have been a course of study in order to help people understand the science behind speech. I find this interesting because in todays world, we rarely learn the science behind acoustics (maybe a little bit in high school physics) but we learn phonics from the day we are born as our parents attempt to get us to pronounce words. -Tim Irish
It will form the first link in the Chain of an historical review of our language through all its successive changes to the present day, will constitute the foundation of that critical instruction in it, which ought to be found in a Seminary of general learning and thus reward amply the few weeks of attention which would alone be requisite for its attainment. A language already fraught with all the eminent sciences of our parent Country the future Vehicle of whatever we may Ourselves atchieve and destined to Occupy so much space on the Globe, claims distinguished attention in American Education.
It is quite striking to find such a clear statement that emphasizes the importance of participating in "historical review" while linking that review to the "present day"--for this type of review and analysis is exactly what UVA's first-year students are undertaking. It makes it evident that even the Rockfish Gap Report was meant for critical review. In the past, and the present, nothing is perfect--human words have always been scrutinized and will continue to be reviewed as long as media exists. With an emphasis on science within our language (as described), we are able to formulate effectively factual claims. Scientific discovery has flourished since the time of this report, however, it becomes more and more difficult to know what information is true and what information has been fabricated by the news media. The importance of opening up this informational language to students becomes vital to the creation a nation that vicariously breathes truth through its citizens. -Tim Irish