12 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
  2. Oct 2017
    1. 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 is a very insightful metaphor that shows that demonstrates that education depends on the student. Just as cultivation that is successful for one tree might be unsuccessful for another, depending on many variables, the way one student learns and is educated might not work for another student, as people are all vastly different. This is important to realize, because if the aim is to educate all students, the teachers must be willing to shape their own methods. Caroline Peterson

    2. It was the degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places

      This was really unsettling for me read. Proximity to the most white people is the one criteria that made the difference in where the University's location was chosen. If Charlottesville hadn't been most central to the white population of Virginia, UVa would be located in Lexington or in Staunton. Its definitely not a good thing that our school was centered around pleasing only the white race before our grounds were even built. I can't imagine how different our grounds would be and our university if another place had been more convenient for white people. UVa certainly has a racist past and I think most of us, if not all, are aware of that but I still couldn't believe that such a racist criteria is the reason the school exists where it does today and is the way Uva is today.

      • Becca Meaney
  3. Sep 2017
    1. It was the degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places:

      This sentence alone encompasses the controversy on racism that has plagued the University of Virginia 'til this day. The fact that the location for which these grounds were built upon was chosen solely based on the "...degree of centrality to the white population..." (meaning the most profitable and nurturing location for white people to flourish, with no regards toward people of color) emphasizes the 19th century's view of racial superiority and the founders' initial intent for inequality. This single sentence painfully and unmistakably claims that this university was founded entirely for the advancement of the white population, and no one else. Today, as Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia, proudly thrives on its growing diversity, this sentence also alludes to some irony.

    2. 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.

      This sentence kind of stuck out to me. I thought it was very Jeffersonian. When creating the US Constitution, Jefferson wanted the people to revise it every 19 years, so each generation could change aspects of the government according to their time. He brought the idea of changing institutions to better fit generations to his university, because he could not make it work in his country. The commissioners put their faith in the future generations, hoping that the university will keep the same basic principles through a changing world. -Tessa

    3. our indigenous neighbours?

      Jefferson and the University's founders held a supercilious view over the Native Americans and their traditional lifestyle. They felt as if the indigenous population was inferior simply for their tendency to revert back to old traditions and simple ways of life rather than pursuing a goal of democracy and advanced civilization. The native population had a structure of government and tradition that maintained their societal constructs but the white men who founded our university considered it to be lesser because it wasn't formal, written down, or an advancement of political theory. In an evolutionary sense, it is interesting to think about when or why it became necessary for humans to need a written out document defining their system of governance or their individual liberty. Did men become more ambitious or unruly as they became "smarter" or more aware and worldly throughout time?

    4. centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      In laying the cornerstone of the University the founders considered many places in Virginia including Lexington, Charlottresville, and Augusta County. However, Charlottesville was chosen due to its affluence and concentration of the caucasian population. The concentration of races can be found on a macro-scale dating back 200,000 years ago when the human population in Africa split off into different parts of the Earth. However, this isolation is also present on a micro level even within the confines of a state. Some towns are heavily black and others white, etc.

    5. A language already fraught with all the eminent sciences of our parent Country the future Vehicle

      As communication has always played a key role in the scientific method, language truly does act as a vehicle to the future. Unfortunately, today the communication of science has its flaws due to the general public's lack of common access to scientific journals. University students presently have access to countless scholarly scientific sources as this document intended, yet the emphasis on the importance of communication of science suggests a more global goal. Thus, the university should do all it can to work with organizations such as the Center for Open Science in order to allow for a stronger bond between language and science in the community within and beyond UVa.

    6. 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.

      Education is a powerful tool. Teachers can use their authoritative position to shape the beliefs and morals of their students. Many students are eager to learn, so they are easily influenced by what their teachers tell them is fact. Their teachers are the authority in the situation, so therefore they must know how the world works. This can be either positive or negative influence on students depending on how accurate a teacher's knowledge and beliefs are, especially since education "controuls... any innate obliquities in our moral organization." Caroline Peterson

    7. that to secure Ourselves where we are, we must tread with awfull reverence in the footsteps of Our fathers

      This University was founded by one of the "fathers", at a time when the revolution was not the country's history, but part of one's personal past. The ideals of the founding fathers were ingrained in the people at this time, so it makes perfect sense that the commissioners would want to align themselves with their ideas of liberty and equality. However the word choice is kind of strange. The way it's worded makes it seem as if the commissioners had not purposefully aligned themselves with the founders, their university would not survive. This university seems to have been founded with great consideration to the government- not how one may want it to be. If a university and government are tied together, how can things change and progress? -Tessa

    8. full enquiry & impartial & mature consideration

      I think it is interesting (and a little nauseating) in how this is what an impartial and mature consideration was considered at the time. The idea that a consideration was considered unbiased while it only accounted for the convenience of one race is baffling; it’s a complete lack of foresight into the future of the people that would make up the university. This relates to our discussion in our evolution engagement about noticing how science is inherently biased, which can be seen in their “impartial...consideration”, which is not impartial at all. They claim how it is a mature consideration, but there is nothing mature about the fact that they are segregating such a large portion of the population in the plans to build the University of Virginia.

  4. Jan 2017