90 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. to establish beginnings, in short, to be developed by time, 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 authors' historical self awareness here is pretty interesting to me. They knew that their time was only a point in history, and that they would eventually be surpassed by the next generations. I wonder how much of Jefferson's work on the constitution, specifically the amendment process, had on this?

    2. Anglo-Saxon

      By Anglo Saxon do they just mean English? I wonder if they avoided specifically teaching "English" because the country had so recently split from Britain and Jefferson had such an important role in the split.

  2. Nov 2017
    1. Signed and certified

      There was once an analysis of the signatures of the writers of the Declaration. It would be interesting to have a brief biography of each of these signers and see if their signatures correlated with their importance in the creation of the document or their egos.

      -Shannon Lee

    2. must advance the knowledge & well-being of mankind: not infinitely, as some have said, but indefinitely

      Earlier in the paragraph, they mention how learned men think applied sciences are useless, but the commissioners know that science is of supreme importance in advancing technology. Perhaps they simply dismissed the concerns of those men of "respectable information" when creating their course catalog and included tons of science and math concepts. -Shannon Lee

    3. in each of which should be a lecturing room with from two to four apartments for the accommodation of a professor and his family

      Did they only plan to have ten professors? Would it be the most prestigious professors that got to live there, like the professors in charge of the groups of subjects mentioned later in the report? Was the University to provide accommodations for extra professors? The fact that they were going to allow professors to live where they worked and among students is pretty strange in the modern context, but it would have encouraged bonding between masters and pupils which is good. -Shannon Lee

    4. within the powers of a single professor

      The founders should have included a method for more professors to head a group of subjects. They should also have included a vetting process for professors to make sure the quality of the students' education was high. If the professor they hired for the group was terrible, students that wanted to major in that area were out of luck, a situation that is not conducive to a proper education.

      -Shannon Lee

    5. Medicine, when fully taught, is usually subdivided into several professorships, but this cannot well be without the accessory of an hospital, where the student can have the benefit of attending clinical lectures & of assisting at operations of surgery.

      The lack of preparation for a true and thorough medicinal education seems to be foreshadowing the slapdash nature of the Anatomical House, where people stole dead enslaved bodies from cemeteries for the students to use as cadavers. The founders should have created plans for a proper classroom for medical students and for cadaver deliveries.

      -Shannon Lee

    6. no greater obstruction to industrious study could be proposed than the presence, the intrusions, and the noisy turbulence of a Multitude of small boys

      "A multitude of small boys" would definitely not be conducive to the mission of an institution of higher education to prepare citizens for the real world. They probably wouldn't understand the advanced knowledge being taught in class. It's interesting to note how the creation of the university facilitated "preliminary schools" throughout Virginia, definitely helping to educate the population.

      -Shannon Lee

    7. governing considerations should be the healthiness of the site, the fertility of the neighbouring country, and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state

      When I read this, it makes me think they are breeding an army. They are more worried about the "healthiest" site and the "fertility" of the site just so it can be worthy enough for the white population. Where are these worries for the rest of the population? If you want to create the greatest university, then you have to keep the whole population in mind.- Christen Bolton

    8. form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      While these sound like good qualities to teach maturing, young adults, these values were not intended for everyone. They did not care how the students treated the slaves during this time, so how can you improve a community that only looks out for their own race?- Christen Bolton

    9. we propose but a single professor for both medicine & anatomy

      It's interesting how little attention was given to medicine at the inception of the University. There appears to have been a very limited amount of material covered in this subject and all of it done by one professor. I'd assume that they managed with this owing to a limited number of students studying medicine at the time. All of this stands in stark contrast to present day UVa, this just goes to show how much the university has evolved since its inception.

      -Kisal Batuwangala

    10. Rhetoric

      It's interesting to note that 'rhetoric' was taught as it's own singular subject. This highlights the importance that both the university and the society gave to things like speech and debate. It also raises the question as to what brought about such a big focus on this subject during this period, seeing how its not given so much attention at present.

      -Kisal Batuwangala

    11. Transcendental

      Interesting how the meaning of this has changed over time. It seems it used to be related to Geometry. Now, the main definition of transcendental is "relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm." However, if you look further there is a mathematical definition, as well: "(of a number, e.g., e or π) real but not a root of an algebraic equation with rational roots." This does not seem to do with geometry

      • Jake Keating
    12. statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend

      This statement is very interesting as it focuses on the workers of society as a fundamental key to "individual happiness". I believe this opposes sentiments of our own time where people believe they can generate their own happiness. This shows how much more the people from this time were concerned with society and how much each individual person depended on it. I think that this relates to one of the goals of the liberal arts education; to become a better citizen and engage more with society in order to give back after all we have been given.

    13. James River company.

      The James River company was actually just a company for literally the James River. It was a canal company and all they owned and business was concerned was the James River it seems.

      • Jake Keating
    14. Statics, respect matter generally, in a state of rest, and include Hydrostatics, or the Laws of fluids particularly, at rest or in equilibrio Dynamics, used as a general term include Dynamics proper, or the Laws of solids in Motion and Hydrodynamics, or Hydraulics, those of fluids in Motion Pneumatics teach the theory of air, its Weight, Motion, condensation, rarifaction &c Acoustics or Phonics, the theory of sound Optics the Laws of Light & vision Physics or Physiology in a general sense, mean the doctrine of the Physical objects of our senses

      The branches of physics listed here are indicative of the relatively limited world of science at the university's founding. While there is a wide range of physical subjects in this list, it is nothing like the huge branch of highly specialized areas of physics like we find today. This collection of physical study is also indicative of the importance of the holistic education desired for students at the University of Virginia.

      -Andrew Henry

    15. Chemistry, is meant, with its other usual branches, to comprehend the theory of Agriculture

      This is yet another reminder of the importance placed on agriculture in the founding of the University of Virginia. Also, the word "theory" is important. It indicates that agriculture is considered a field worthy of studying and comprehending through thought, not just through blind experimentation in the field (pun intended)

      -Andrew Henry

    16. This would generally be about the 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents.

      Entering college at the age of 15 is almost unheard of in the United States today, but this would not have been as surprising in the early 19th century. People at that time lived shorter lives, so they experienced major life changes much earlier than would be considered proper or even legal today. Even with this in mind, it is hard to understand a 19th century student graduating from the University of Virginia at the same age at which I will complete my first year.

      -Andrew Henry

    17. As well might it be urged that the wild & uncultivated tree, hitherto yielding sour & bitter fruit only, can never be made to yield better: yet we know that the grafting art implants a new tree on the savage stock, producing what is most estimable both in kind & degree.

      This analogy implies that the new positive habits that education imparts on students are additive rather than transformative. Is this interpretation intentional? Is there validity in saying that man/students nature cannot be changed, and new habits are new rather than changing previously held ones.

    18. It is supposed probable that a building of somewhat more size in the middle of the grounds may be called for in time, in which may be rooms for religious worship under such impartial regulations as the visitors shall prescribe

      It is interesting that at this point in the development of the university (1) the university does not have any specific religious affiliations, and (2) that rather than being non denomination, the university is -considering- building a religious building. I would've thought that building a non denomination, or at least some religious building would have been a giving, rather than a possibility.

    19. the commissioners are aware that they have to encounter much difference of opinion

      The commissioners recognize that there are many different opinion about the founding role of the university. They, then, list the opinions of others and argue why they are invalid. The arguments are about the establishment of the school as an institution to promote the liberal arts. However, they do not recognize the greater effect the school has on its surroundings. No one objects to the slave labor that will build and operate the school. They pretend to take into account others opinions, when the initial students and professors were mostly all of the same background: rich, white, educated, southern men. The school still somewhat perpetuates these ideas with white people having the vast majority control of the school. - Charlie Jones (this is my third)

    20. The 1st: of these constitutes the proper functions of the professors

      Jefferson has very little to say about the costliness of university. I find this particular quip amusing for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Jefferson was not monetarily efficient in his lifetime. He amassed great wealth in his youth only to died in crippling debt and penniless, his family selling his property posthumously. This tiny, vague sentence is his concession that "money matters, I guess" while still maintaining that he will not be the one to deal with it. Ironically, perhaps because of his lack of specificity or inevitable modern forward movement, universities have become corporations focused on selling their expensive brand. This modern corporation monetary system is antithetical of Jefferson's vision to provide a place of intellectual growth and of his views on small, local government.

    21. The best mode of government for youth in large collections, is certainly a desideratum not yet attained with us. It may well be questioned whether fear, after a certain age, is the motive to which we should have ordinary recourse. The human character is susceptible of other incitements to correct conduct, more worthy of employ, and of better effect. Pride of character, laudable ambition, & moral dispositions are innate correctives of the indiscretions of that lively age; and when strengthened by habitual appeal & exercise, have a happier effect on future character, than the degrading motive of fear; hardening them to disgrace, to corporal punishments, and servile humiliations, cannot be the best process for producing erect character. The affectionate deportment between father & son offers, in truth, the best example for that of tutor & pupil; and the experience & practice of* other countries in this respect, may be worthy of enquiry & consideration with us. It will be then for the wisdom & discretion of the visitors to devise & perfect a proper system of government, which, if it be founded in reason & comity, will be more likely to nourish, in the minds of our youth, the combined spirit of order & self respect, so congenial with our political institutions, and so important to be woven into the American character.

      Within Jefferson's masterfully crafted syntax, we are able to see a passion for government and infatuation with honorable identity. There is a fervor within this particular passage as Jefferson begins a diatribe on ethicalness within people. I believe the comparison of #4 to the rest of his organization is illuminating to Jefferson's genuine devotion to create a better university and country for generations through mentoring. This is seen within his own past as he, along with other revolutionary American figures such as Henry Clay and John Marshall, were mentored by George Wythe, a Virginian layer.

    22. Some Articles in this distribution of Sciences will need observation.

      Considering that many people have made their annotations about the subjects that were t be taught in our school, I believe it is important to consider that they were not completely defined. It would be interesting to investigate how this list actually developed with time because all of the aforementioned obesrvations are useless if we do not dig deeper into this subject.

    23. useful in so many callings

      For me it is satisfying to see Jefferson emphasize that the practicality of a topic is simply a happy coincidence of any subject, and not the fundamental reason for it being taught. There is very little mention of the need to make sure every subject matches some profession as one finds today, but instead there is a constant theme throughout of the subjects needing to be taught for the sheer knowledge itself. Joseph Snitzer

    24. mass of our citizens

      It's ironic that Jefferson uses this language since the universities of the time clearly were made for the wealthy landowners and not the masses. Additionally, the masses clearly does not include the native population since at other times in the document he ridicules them as fundamentally backwards. Either this shows an ignorance of the brutality of white wealthy rule over the country, or worse an inability to recognize the native population as being in the same species as the landowners Joseph Snitzer

    25. In conformity with the principles of our constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing, with the jealousies of the different sects in guarding that equality from encroachment & surprise, and with the sentiments of the legislature in favor of freedom of religion manifested on former occasions,

      I wonder how much influence Jefferson's work on religious liberties in Virginia had on this document. It clearly had some, but did he add this phrase and others like it himself or was it someone else who shared his ideas?

    26. . The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be,

      The goals of this university all seem to have one common idea which is to promote self sustainability. This is accomplished by being sustainable in business, in individual writing, in literacy, with the community, and with the law. Are these the same primary goals of the University toady? The university's, especially the new curriculum's, goal is to make each student an "engaged citizen". This differs from being an independent individual who can traverse through the world to being an individual who can interact and change the world in which they live. Is this a better person? I would say so. Yet, there are many people who still want to improve themselves as much as they can to achieve monetary and material success instead of having a lasting impact on the world. - Charlie Jones

    27. Proceeding thus far without offence to the constitution, we have thought it proper at this point, to leave every sect to provide as they think fittest, the means of further instruction in their own peculiar tenets.

      This is most likely an injection done by Thomas Jefferson. He makes sure to not offend the Constitution, especially in reference to freedom of religion. The fact that he repeats "constitution" twice in the paragraph further supports his interest in not exceed its boundaries, especially in the constitution's first amendment. However, the document emphasizes that every sect should be left to choose their own way which they think is the best. This supports Jefferson's view of how he thinks the country should be run as an again society. - Charlie Jones

    28. every citizen

      Here, the term "citizen" needs to be understood differently from how it is interpreted now. In fact, at that time only white males were considered citizens, excluding black slaves and women. Thus, "every citizen" seems like incorporating a wide, broader range of people whereas access to the university was actually very narrow.

    29. The Commissioners for the University of Virginia having met, as by law required at the tavern in Rockfish gap on the blue ridge,

      This indicates that the Law required the Commissioners to meet, but it interesting to note that they met in a "tavern". It seems odd that the birth of a university took place in a place as little connected to knowledge and education as a tavern.

    30. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      I think discussing the University's history requires us to not only think about the distant past but also the recent past. This line stood out to me because I thought about the fact that Richard Spencer, a known white supremacist, attended UVA. If this line of the Report is stating that the curriculum will improve "morals and faculties," then there are many examples to disprove it. Higher education does not necessarily correspond to a better moral compass.

    31. The board having thus agreed on a proper site for the University to be reported to the legislature, proceeded to the second of the duties assigned to them, that of proposing a plan for its buildings;

      I connected this clause of the Report to symbolic landscape, which basically describes the collective memory of history that we use to assign meaning to a particular site or landscape. In retrospect, many of the buildings that compose UVA were built by slaves, and it is interesting how people often admire our architecture without knowing the history and symbolism behind it. -Lina Modjarrad

    32. The Commissioners for the University of Virginia having met, as by law required at the tavern in Rockfish gap on the blue ridge, on the 1st. day of August of this present year 1818, and having formed a board, proceeded on that day to the discharge of the duties assigned to them by the act of the legislature intituled an “act appropriating part of the revenue of the literary fund and for other purposes” and having continued their proceedings by adjournment from day to day to Tuesday the 4th: day of August, have agreed to a report on the several matters with which they were charged, which report they now respectfully address and submit to the legislature of the state.

      This was the day that everybody got together to discuss the building of the university. On this day they discussed where the location would be, what would be taught at the school and much more. This day was historical because it set the precedence for what the school would be like today. @sarah brickman 111

    33. Geometry elemental is that of straight lines and of the circle

      Knowing that this type of math was around back then is astounding. I did not know there were advancements in geometry. I also did not know there would be so many different things taught at the university because the most popular subjects back then were reading, writing and arithmetic. @sarah brickman 111

    34. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization

      It seems here that Jefferson is referring to Native Americans. He is asserting that their society is barbaric and backwards because they do not educate themselves. This shows a clear lack of understanding of other cultures and indifference towards the virtues and differences between them.

      • cat
    35. agriculture, manufactures & commerce

      It's so interesting that Jefferson envisioned graduates of the university entering these fields when, with the exception of commerce, it is unusual for current day grads to enter farming of manufacturing. However, it makes perfect sense for the time as America was much more agrarian.

      • Cat
    36. with respect to the buildings, lands, appurtenances & other property & interests of the university

      When I read this section about the responsibilities of the Board of Visitors and earlier about their role in the preservation of the buildings, my mind jumped to an incident a few months ago, regarding the Rotunda. Following the hateful white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, some students came forward to express their concerns about the presence of plaques in the Rotunda that recognized Confederate soldiers that had fought in the Civil War. The Board of Visitors voted on it, and decided that it was in the best interest of the University to not repel future applicants, and that since there were no equivalent Union soldier plaques, that they would remove the signs. I wonder what the writers of the Rockfish Gap report would think of the powers exerted by the Board of Visitors today, if it's what they intended or expected. -Julia Stewart

    37. The board of Trustees of Washington College have also proposed to transfer the whole of their funds, viz,

      I'm confused by the implications of this statement; did Washington College really intend to transfer the entirety of its funds to UVA to assist in it's establishment? It seems unlikely that the college would willingly surrender its funds for the benefit of another. Or am I misinterpreting this, and the true meaning behind this is that Washington College's funds were mainly a sort of insurance net, so that if the previously mentioned sources of funding (land sales) fell through, UVA would still have been able to be set up, and not fall through. -Julia Stewart

    38. Medicine, when fully taught, is usually subdivided into several professorships, but this cannot well be without the accessory of an hospital, where the student can have the benefit of attending clinical lectures & of assisting at operations of surgery.

      I also find it interesting that this report states that medicine cannot be taught without an accommodating hospital. Today, the UVA hospital is one of the most successful university hospitals and provides the perfect resource for pre-med students to gain experience in the field. Taylor Thompson

    39. in which may be rooms for religious worship under such impartial regulations as the visitors shall prescribe

      It's interesting to see the progression of religion at the university. During its founding it has no religious ties, including not teaching any theology classes, and yet this phrase makes it seem as though that could later change. Putting this all in a building of "more size in the middle of the grounds" shows that it is an important spot. Would these rooms be to attract more religious students in the future? How diverse would this religious worship be? -Emma Walker

    40. centrality to the white population of the whole state

      I find this quote to be a huge insight to the blatant racism involved in the founding of the university. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the first two criteria of healthiness and nourishment would fall under the requirements of physiological and safety needs, the most basic ones needed for human survival. The fact that the "centrality to the white population" is followed directly after shows how important these people held this value to be. It's a very successful way of educational segregation; not only did they prohibit black people from enrolling in the university, but they made sure it wasn't easy to access physically unless you were white. - Emma Walker

    41. Education generates habits of application, order and the love of virtue; and controuls, by the force of habit, any innate obliquities in our moral organization.

      I believe this is an extremely important sentence as it reflects the thoughts of what an education should be. They want students to become more applied and become better people, not those designed for specific jobs. Our morals our driven by what we learn in school and this shows how important schooling is to society and to each individual person. School is where a student is developed in order to become a citizen of the working world.

    42. 4. government:

      Even in 1818 it is obvious that government played an important role at the University. When listing the provisions for the students, government is listed fourth only behind tuition, diet, and lodging. From the very first drafts of the University, the idea of self-governance is prominent. I find it interesting that self-governance continues to play such a key role two hundred years later. Taylor Thompson

    43. As well might it be urged that the wild & uncultivated tree, hitherto yielding sour & bitter fruit only, can never be made to yield better: yet we know that the grafting art implants a new tree on the savage stock, producing what is most estimable both in kind & degree.

      I would like to acknowledge the use of metaphor here. In the same way that a wild tree can be grafted and made anew, a "man" can be transformed and reborn as a result of education. Jefferson's intent was to transform the younger generations of Americans into people who would carry virtue and social worth along with them and across the next generations. Jefferson wanted to 'sustain' America, and he understood the implications of having educated young people to continue to tirelessly transform the nation for the better. Clearly, not everything in this nation has gone perfectly, I do believe that this increase in education has led to many great improvements. Things such as the civil and women's rights movements that took place in the last 100 years. This shows how transformative education can be, yet it ever so important in our world today that we continue this educational trend--providing it to more people who were never before given the opportunity and having conversations about provocative topics that were commonly looked over. -Tim Irish

    44. The best mode of government for youth in large collections, is certainly a desideratum not yet attained with us. It may well be questioned whether fear, after a certain age, is the motive to which we should have ordinary recourse. The human character is susceptible of other incitements to correct conduct, more worthy of employ, and of better effect.

      This is something that I find so fascinating about Thomas Jefferson. Many people consider his implementation of student self-governance as revolutionary, but the action of allowing youth to build maturity on their own was something that humans had been doing for ages. This is something that occurs in nature all of the time. Sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches, with no real intention of seeing their own children outside of the eggs that they had created. I find it ironically fitting that Thomas Jefferson wanted to integrate a sense of of innate naturalism, self empowerment, and self discovery into the University. He transformed the educational system by simply integrating human nature into the University's academic structure. -Tim Irish

    45. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      Matt Moore What does he mean by improve by reading, his morals and faculties? What does he mean by improving? This is interesting to look at because this document says to improve, but improve on what basis, what does it mean to improve? Figuring out the answer to this question will help me better understand the document.

    46. The advantages of this plan are, greater security against fire & infection; tranquillity & comfort to the Professors, and their families thus insulated; retirement to the Students, and the admission of enlargement to any degree to which the institution may extend in future times.

      Matt Moore This is interesting seeing the plan that the board had for putting in the pavilions and dormitories along the lawn. Seeing the advantages that the students get by living in these is interesting. One big part was that the students have the ability to have uninterrupted study since these dorms are secluded from other individuals

    47. At the District schools or colleges boys should be rendered able to read the easier Authors, Latin and Greek.

      I find this statement quite interesting because it refers to Latin and Greek as the "easier" languages. While at my high school, not everyone was allowed to take Latin. Only those who preformed well on a placement test were deemed capable of taking Latin. According to Jefferson though, this was an easy language for 10 year olds to take. Especially those who would not attend a university. This just goes to show how times have changed in consideration to what is expected of students.<br> Carter Fisher

    48. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be,

      The list that follows this statement is very interesting. If one analyzes the list of things that the university hopes to instill in its students in order of importance from first to last, the list is surprising. It begins with stating that the university hopes to teach students morals, how to treat their neighbors, how to handle themselves, and how to be better statesmen. It doesn't mention the factors until later on in the list that we see important nowadays. For example, it talks about science and mathematics in a very limited fashion as if it was not important in the eyes of those who created the university. Carter Fisher

    49. Pride of character, laudable ambition, & moral dispositions are innate correctives of the indiscretions of that lively age; and when strengthened by habitual appeal & exercise, have a happier effect on future character, than the degrading motive of fear; hardening them to disgrace, to corporal punishments, and servile humiliations, cannot be the best process for producing erect character.

      We see here again that the university is far-sighted by realizing that positive encouragements in shaping a person's character is much more effective than fear through punishments and humiliation. A governing system based on such positive encouragements inspires students to pursue excellence in every facet. In contrast, if students are living in fear, they will be too anxious to dare to attempt anything great. --Leo Yang

    50. we have proposed no professor of Divinity; and tho rather, as the proofs of the being of a god, the creator, preserver, & supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, & of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics

      It is interesting to see that as a liberal art, non-religious-affiliated university, UVa does not give out the degree of professor of Divinity. This decision is very profound and well-made in creating a school where each religion will be on equal ground. The existence of a divinity degree will undeniably favors one religion over another and creates conflict since rarely do any religion shares the same god, and a professor of Divinity must acknowledge one god of his religion over any other god as the "supreme ruler of the universe". --Leo Yang

    51. o these should be added the arts, which embellish life, dancing music & drawing

      I like how Jefferson included the arts as part of the curriculum and activities that the students can participate in while at the university. He acknowledges that the arts add another element to education and "embellish life." The arts can act as a creative outlet or stress reliever for the students and provide them with a more holistic education that emphasizes both scholarly topics and more creative processes to sharpen the mind in all aspects. Jeffersons' mention of more than purely academic endeavors is very forward and admirable. -Allison Ryu

    52. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      I find it rather interesting that Jefferson hopes to improve the students' morals through reading. While I do believe that morals and ideas can be formed through reading literature and through discussion with others, morals and faculties are primarily shaped through experiences. By the time students enter the university, their ethics are already formed and there is very little potential that they would be swayed unless a life-changing event occurred. There is simply little chance that one's morals would "improve" through experiences, let alone readings, and if anything were to change in the students' morals, they would most likely be strengthened throughout their time at the university as they encounter people of different beliefs to whom they must defend their ideas to. -Allison Ryu

    53. History (being interwoven with Politics & Law[)]

      Even two hundred years ago, interdisciplinary learning was a priority for policymakers. It makes sense to contextualize politics and law with history, so that students will understand WHY laws were made rather than just memorize the statutes.

  3. Oct 2017
    1. liberal tuition fees

      Was UVA to only be accessible to the wealthy?

    2. Ideology is the doctrine of thought

      This is rather interesting to me. It makes me question what kind of Ideologies the students on grounds were being cultivated to have at the time. Where they being cultivated into thinking that their race was the superior race considering the fact that anyone that didn't look like them was a servant, a subject for them.

    3. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization.

      I understand that society was somewhat more racist and close minded in Jefferson's time, but I find this comment to be unforgivably supremacist. It is true that education elevates the minds of people, but with education must come empathy and open mindedness. Julia Stewart

    4. with awfull reverence

      This quote seems to point at a lot of Jeffersonian beliefs, most importantly a strong individualism, a belief in focusing on advancing towards a greater future, and an official form of secularism. To me this quote is quite sad as it seems to reek of pride and excessive notions of self-worth - the argument against this is that Jefferson is simply pointing out that blindly following tradition is regressive, but I think we see best why this is an unfortunate statement in how Jefferson describes the native population as being lesser humans because they continue their ancestor's practices. This is a very Western notion, to praise ingenuity and young striving individuals over the wisdom of elders, and to view with near pity the idea of following their way of life. This American notion is what has destroyed many cultures, such as the Ladakhi people who now send their children to Western schools where they are taught that farming is savage and that math and grammar prove one's superiority over others, which as a consequence has made the elders of the community feel inadequate and simply stupid. I wish Jefferson had a calmer and more respectful view of tradition and community, but he seems too full of pride and American Protestant virtues to be able to reconcile abstract ideals of progress with views of being at peace with nature.

    5. to return to the days of eating acorns and roots

      I think this line in particular proves the linear narrative Jefferson applies to his thinking, believing that history is constantly climbing towards more progress and never regressing. I feel like this is a statement that comes mainly from the fact that Jefferson was influenced by Enlightenment ideals and saw America as the shift from an ancien regime to one that is newer and therefore better. This narrative comes from post-Reformation views of history, and I think America's capitalistic drive too comes from this creatio ab nihilo view of productivity and human freedom and creativity driving future towards greater and greater progress. This metaphor is employed elsewhere in the text too, such as in the physicality of the university as being able to be expanded and built upon.

    6. where too may be exercised the stricter government necessary for young boys, but unsuitable for youths arrived at years of discretion.

      I find it interesting that the board sees high-school aged boys as troublesome but that college-aged "youths" don't need reprimanding. Gayle M. Schulman shows this attitude in action in "Slaves at the University of Virginia," which states "Professors could issue a firm and authoritative reprimand to a student, but could not be personally insulting or degrading... In one instance a student complained of a Professor that, 'he was imposed upon, and spoken to in an authoritarian manner--as an overseer speaks to a Negro.'" I strongly believe that the lack of accountability that these college students were held to only further extended their ideas of "master-slave" mentalities, for in their minds, they could do no wrong. Emma Walker

    7. comforts of human life

      The fact that the University wanted to make the young men "comfortable" at school is admirable, but at what cost? The only comfortable living done in these times was at the expense of slave labor, and it's infuriating to see that the students were to be treated so well by people they had no respect for. We learned in Making the Invisible Visible that the students weren't allowed to bring their own slaves from home, which was both upsetting and a hard adjustment for many. This rule forced more work upon the slaves at the University, as they were each in charge of attending to several students daily. Emma Walker

    8. Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements; some think that they do not better the condition of men

      It is understandable to see people viewing science to be invaluable as their daily lives had not been changed dramatically by scientific breakthrough. The interesting and exciting thing about this comment on people's perception of science confirms that UVa was built with a vision looking into the future. We, as a school, are not contented with the current norm, but are always working toward greater goals.

      Leo Yang

    9. To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciaries of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence with candor & judgment.

      Among many other goals the commissioners of UVa were trying to pursue, this objective is particularly important to the foundation of an American education institute. One has to know her or his right to protect himself or herself from prejudice and not infringe on others' rights. The qualities pointed out in this sentence constitutes the base for UVa's vision as of today: honor, integrity, trust, and respect.

      http://www.virginia.edu/statementofpurpose

      Leo Yang

    10. 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.

      Today, English, a Germanic language, is America's unofficial official language. English's role as the unofficial state language was even greater two centuries ago; this position among languages spoken in the U.S. is made evident when it is labelled "the language of our own Country".

      • Andrew Henry
    11. Fluxions

      "Fluxions", coined by Isaac Newton in 1665, are known as "derivatives" today. Newton defined a "fluxion" as "the instantaneous rate of change of a varying (flowing) quantity". These "fluxions" are integral (pun intended) to Newtonian calculus.

      • Andrew Henry
    12. Some Articles in this distribution of Sciences will need observation.

      Taking into account that everyone is making annotations about the subjects and how these might or might not have been influenced by the many events of the period, I think it is important to look at the closing line of the section. What does observation here mean? Does observation mean direct changes in what was written? Does it mean that the Commissioners did not agree on this curriculum and the classes taught? It is necessary to look into history and know what was actually taken from this first report in order to actually give value to all of the above annotations. The only thing we have done here is speculate on why these subjects were originally planned.

    13. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization.

      This sentence exemplifies the "superior" mentality of the people that are part of a industrialized society as opposed to the indigenous population. Although education is important in furthering the knowledge of humankind and making advancements to help, it is also important to look back and learn from the past. It is not as if the indigenous people didn't learn, they just never learned to study the subjects of ideas. They were grounded in their own ways and they refused to change because they were happy with what they had. Civilization has brought people many great advancements but it also has wrung terrible consequences. The times of simplicity are gone and, the peace of that simplicity, with it.

    14. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      This is an interesting quote when one considers the implications of the time period with when this was written. In today's world, many adults are opposed to the ideals that the millennials are bringing into the world because they are different. I am unsure if, when writing this document, anyone considered the monumental changes that could occur if they allow the youth to develop and "cultivate" their own morals. People might think ideally but when change comes along they believe it is wrong even though it is what they wanted in the first place. School is a very important place to learn about society and culture and this is why students' minds are shaped by schooling. They develop their own thoughts based off of what they believe is right for society by learning about its strengths and weaknesses. After schooling however, people still need to accept the fact that they are still learning about the world and everything is subject to change; they cannot stay within the same frame of mind or else the world will not be able to advance towards a better future.

    15. The Commissioners for the University of Virginia having met, as by law

      By intending to make public education more accessible, one would believe the Commissioners wanted to increase the education of the whole community; instead, their only concern was to improve the education of the white male population. By not considering women or other races as equals, the Commissioners were hindering the overall value of education around the area.

    16. Rhetoric

      It is interesting to see that Rhetoric is considered a formal subject, just like it was in the ancient city-state of Athens. It was an imperative tool for men that dove into the area of politics, whereas nowadays it is not formally taught.

    17. Military

      It's interesting to note the amount of focus the university had on military education, and the wide variety of forms it came in (Projectiles, Military architecture etc.). This was well before the world wars or any other major global conflict which leads me to question the reasons behind this extensive focus.

    18. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves. These are the objects of that higher grade of education, the benefits & blessings of which the legislature now propose to provide for the good & ornament of their country the gratification & happiness of their fellow citizens, of the parent especially & his progeny on which all his affections are concentrated.

      Jefferson highlights here how the university has the goal to enforce a reflective nature and spirit among its students and to teach them how to be respectful citizens to themselves and others. He emphasizes how the primary goal of higher education is to create well-rounded and well-educated individuals who also want to share this nature with their peers and instill values of creating a positive community. -Allison Ryu

    19. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be, To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either. To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciaries of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence with candor & judgment. And, in general, to observe with intelligence & faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history, and this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education, of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend.

      The goals that Jefferson outlines here are how he wants every student that attends the university to learn and what he wants them all to receive as students. Essentially, each of these objects aims to shape the students into more competent and active community members with their own well-developed opinions, but the ability to hear out others' opinions, as well, and still act for the better of society with his knowledge. Furthermore, Jefferson entails ideas such as "To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice..." to emphasize his desire for every student to exercise his civil rights as citizens. -Allison Ryu

    20. leave every sect to provide as they think fittest, the means of further instruction in their own peculiar tenets

      This statement is basically stating that the university will not practice under a single denomination, but rather allow all sects to practice, or not practice, on grounds. Directly reflecting the sentiments of Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, this sentence allows the sects, and not the university as a whole, to practice what they wish.

      Taylor Thompson

    21. the university will be overwhelmed with the Grammar school or a separate establishment under one or more ushers for its lower classes will be advisable, at a mile or two distance from the general one:

      I find this statement to be extremely interesting, because it is basically stating that a completely separate establishment would be developed to school the lower class students so that they are not far behind in their studies. Today's No Child Left Behind Act almost parallels this concept by giving provisions to disadvantaged students.

      Taylor Thompson

    22. Medicine

      It's very interesting that the University's original classes only consisted of two medical-type classes. They said that medicine was important, however, the means of teaching it in depth were not justified. It was said that there were no hospitals nearby, and not a large enough population of poor people to attend it. I find it funny that now UVA has one of the most prestigious medical schools, and it started out barely teaching medicine.

  4. Sep 2017
    1. the French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead:

      I thought this was very interesting and highlights a difference in the world from when this document was written to now, as French is no longer the language of general intercourse. English has taken its place.

    2. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization

      Jefferson holds a strong vision for the future, which normally has positive qualities, such as the ability for the school to expand geographically and the idea of giving older students more liberty. However, in this section we see the negatives of this view, which is used to justify the way he looks down on Native Americans as too focused on the past and a fundamentally inferior people.

    3. This would generally be about the 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents

      I'm surprised that the commissioners would think that 15 year old boys would have the maturity to pursue education away from home. It's fascinating to consider how the demographic of the university has changed in the past two hundred years, from a population of 15-year old white boys to the diverse culture it is today, composed of 17-24 year olds of many races and genders.

    4. he admission of enlargement to any degree to which the institution may extend in future times.

      The Commissioners founded UVa with a vision and the confidence that the university will prosper and expand. They looked forward to the future and determine to make an impact--a core value still upheld by the university as of today.

    5. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      It's interesting that one of the original and primary goals of the university was not just to help turn students into productive members of society, but also to enable them to better themselves and accomplish their own goals. The phrase "to express & preserve his ideas" stood out to me as an example of this.

    6. .”In this enquiry they supposed that the governing considerations should be the healthiness of the site, the fertility of the neighbouring country, and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      I find it interesting that Jefferson was an architect, a great one at that, and yet he didn't specify that the site must be on a beautiful landscape that would match up to his equally as beautiful buildings. Perhaps this is what he meant when he said, "healthiness of the site"?

    7. Also the whole of his Slaves amounting to 57 in number.

      Not relevant to the writers, added to the list of objects owned

    8. men and citizens,

      This adds another qualification onto who's interests are being protected (white + men)

    9. In this enquiry they supposed that the governing considerations should be the healthiness of the site, the fertility of the neighbouring country, and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state

      This report does not speak about race relations in the state or in regards to the construction of the university, but it does begin with the assumption that the primary concern of the government should be to the white population.

    10. In the education of youth, provision is to be made for 1. tuition. 2 diet. 3. lodging. 4. government: and 5. honorary excitements.

      The founders believed that honorary degrees were just as important as the other provisions made. By waving the requirements for attendance, the elite white males are given an unfair advantage of the rest of the country by obtaining a proper education.

    11. every citizen

      Drawing from references to only white populations previously does "every citizen" here refer only to a white population? If not wouldn't this have required that african american students be allowed to attend the university from its inception?

    12. centrality to the white population of the whole state

      The University was primarily designed to educate white people. It thus needed to be in proximity with a large white population.

  5. Aug 2015