142 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2018
    1. Enrollment was small, around twenty, but a number of future intellectual luminaries, like Hannah Arendt and Jacques Lacan, either took the class or sat in on it.
  2. Dec 2017
    1. would weigh heavily with parents in sending their sons to a school so distant as the Central establishment would be from most of them. Districts of such extent as that every parent should be within a days journey of his son at school, would be desirable in cases of sickness, and convenient for supplying their Ordinary wants and might be made to lessen sensibly the expense of this part of their education.

      It seems as if the commissioners placed a lot of significance on sons being very far away from their families. Did the commissioners believe that this would help students focus more on their work? Personally, I could not imagine being days away from my parents (I fee like 2 hours is a lot). I also wonder if Jefferson believed that schooling in rural areas was not w as worthy as schooling in large districts. Why did he believe this? Is there any personal experience that would lead him to this belief? As someone with a lot of leisure time due to his wealth, I believe Jefferson does have some personal bias to urban, wealthy educations.

    2. 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.

      While I see the idea of self governance in this statement, it also highlights the contradictory beliefs of Jefferson and the commissioners. A slave owner and a believer of eugenics, TJ view of self-governance was quite limited in reality. In this era, TJ, his commissioners, and much of the U.S. believed only white men deserved rights. Slaves didn't have the right to vote, demand justice, or receive equality from the population. With a lack of diversity within the University, I believe some of these ideas hold true today.

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

      I am shocked at the difference between William & Mary's Royal Charter and the Rockfish Gap report, both of which provide very goals for the university they plan for. The Royal Charter resembles a dry, straightforward legal document to me, as it focuses on the lines of leadership, finances, and powers of the president to the point of repetition. It seemed more like record keeping, naming specific people who lent money, who exactly would receive how much money, and a specific line of inheritance. I was surprised by how much the Royal Charter stuck to logistics. In comparison, the Rockfish Gap Report focuses on the experiences Thomas Jefferson and UVA's other founders wished for its students to have. When rereading this report, I could not believe how many times Jefferson mentioned happiness and other feeling words, and this quality seemed particularly unusual after reading the very unfeeling Royal Charter. I am proud to be part of a university that has prioritized individuals' personal growth and the humanitarian experience of education since its founding.

    4. Anglo-Saxon

      Maggie Lavoie

      I wanted to look more into what “Anglo-Saxon” meant, and especially in the context of a “Modern Language,” for I certainly consider it something of the distant past. The Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello website explains that while Anglo-Saxon is an ancestor of a modern English, it is more of a distinct language, for it has grammatical gender, declensions (the inflection of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, numerals, and articles to indicate number, case, and/or gender), conjugations, tense-forms, and case-endings (the suffix-like element which indicates a word's grammatical case, number, and gender). Most interestingly, the website explained Jefferson’s inclusion of Anglo-Saxon in his University’s curriculum. He placed it with the Modern Languages "because it is in fact that which we speak, in the earliest form in which we have knowledge of it." Jefferson was hopeful that Anglo-Saxon would "form the first link in the chain of an historical review of our language through all its successive changes to the present day.”

      https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/anglo-saxon-language

    5. In entering on this field, the commissioners are aware that they have to encounter much difference of opinion as to the extent which it is expedient that this institution should occupy

      I love that here they state they are aware of the "difference of opinion" they will have to encounter upon establishing this University. To me, this really embodies some of the democratic ideals Thomas Jefferson was all about. A society, and in this case an institution, needs differing opinions to help it to keep advancing.

    6. and it cannot be but that each generation succeeding to the knowledge acquired by all those who preceded it, adding to it their own acquisitions & discoveries, and handing the mass down for successive & constant accumulation, must advance the knowledge & well-being of mankind: not infinitely, as some have said, but indefinitely, and to a term which no one can fix or foresee. Indeed we need look back only half a century, to times which many now living remember well, and see the wonderful advances in the sciences & arts which have been made within that period.

      Thomas Jefferson was a visionary when he built this school. He had a predestined blueprint about how he wanted this school to look and perform. One of his main goals was to increase the knowledge of the future generations. He realized that time was short and society was steadily advancing due to new discoveries and acquisitions. Jefferson built this institution to develop inventors and innovators, but he envisioned his future students as academic successors to team up and network together to assemble this prestigious university.

    7. with a knolege of the languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin

      I find this particular paragraph interesting because of Jefferson's beliefs regarding religion and its place at the University of Virginia. He was very much focused on providing the resources and academic abilities that were needed in order for students to independently reason through religious texts. The selected portion of text highlights Jefferson's perspective on what a person should know in order to do this tedious task effectively. Understanding ancient languages such as Hebrew, Greek, and Latin would allow students to analyze primary source documents so the information each person gained was solely up to their own interpretation. Jefferson's view on discovering religion has been heavily scrutinized due to his practice of literally using scissors to cut pieces of the Bible out and pasting other sections in to create his own biblical text termed the Jefferson Bible. For example, in a Humanist.com article from February 2012, Peter Carlson argues that such a radical method would have most definitely prevented Jefferson from being elected in today's society. However, I believe such an act was Jefferson's way of separating spirituality from formal education. By making religious study a much more personal endeavor, the earliest UVA students would be able to form their own conclusions about the texts without being heavily influenced by other parties. https://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2012/features/the-bible-according-to-thomas-jefferson

    8. 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.

      I like how Thomas Jefferson used his power and wealth to help others. He clearly understands the importance of creating your own foundation, and I appreciate him for his contribution to this university. Not only did he want others to improve their education, he encouraged people to practice faith as well. His rhetoric is strong because it is inspirational and passionate. He genuinely wanted others to do better. Another reason that was important to me is because I want to be an entrepreneur in the future. Nothing is given, but it is nice to know that I will be given the tools necessary to succeed and become independent upon attending this university.

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

      In my Fall Engagement "Knowledge You Can Trust", we often discussed the necessity that the public is able to analyze, interpret, and form opinions about data for themselves. It is interesting, if a bit unfortunate, that this remains a heavily emphasized goal of education at UVa. The prevalence of misinformation and disinformation has caused what could be considered an epistemic crisis in which people argue about the validity of information rather than the best approach to the issue it describes. This environment is counterproductive because less time is spent discussing real issues. Though Jefferson's University is taking strides to counteract this trend, the same level of accountability is not present nationwide.

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

      Since arriving at the University, I have found myself wondering what Jefferson would think of the University as it is today. We have preserved the original Academical Village along with other aspects of the University, and the New College Curriculum seems to be a re-kindling of his philosophies. The goal of the Engagements is to challenge us to think across subjects and globally. After such tremendous growth, how has the University's educational philosophy changed, and are the Engagements an attempt to return to Jefferson's original vision?

    11. These are the objects of that higher grade of education

      In my engagement class, Knowledge You Can Trust, we read Artistotle's "The Nicomachean Ethics," where he talked about there being two different goods -- a good within itself and a good for the sake of another good. Here it seems that higher education us being described as a good within itself. Higher education here is for the sake of a high education and everything that comes along with that. Higher education, as described, isn't about getting a good job or become wealthy, but about the youth "enlarging their minds cultivate their morals & instill into them the perceptions of virtue & order," as well as "rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves."

    12. Ethics

      I feel like my engagement is a class that Thomas Jefferson might have envisioned when creating this category of study. Currently, I am in "How to be an Engaged/Ethical Citizen." I think it would be interesting to see how an ethics class would differ between the time the University was founded and today. It proves quite ironic that Jefferson envisioned an ethics class as the construction of the University of Virginia was in fact unethical. Moreover, one could argue that the University of Virginia still makes unethical decisions--specifically when it comes to the investment of tuition dollars. In my engagement, we read an article "The Darker Side of University Endowments" in which state universities in particular are exposed for unethically investing tuition dollars rather than say increase distributed financial aid packages.

    13. To understand his duties to his neighbours

      This part of the Rockfish Gap Report seems a little vague. What are the duties to my peers? Who defines what these duties are? This reminds me of a discussion had in my engagement about the ideologies of Gandhi. Gandhi would argue that students at the university must sacrifice their individuality to have this shared community that Jefferson envisions. This is their duty. However, how much are students willing to sacrifice? Ultimately, few are willing to make the sacrifice as they are afraid others will not do the same.

    14. That they should have two stated meetings in the year, and occasional meetings at such times as they should appoint, or on a special call with such notice as themselves shall prescribe by a general rule; which meetings shall be at the University, a majority of them constituting a quorum for business; and that on the death or resignation of a member, or on his removal by the President & Directors of the Literary fund, or the executive or such other authority as the legislature shall think best, such President & Directors or the Executive, or other authority should appoint a successor.

      It seems as that only two mandatory meetings a year is very minimal. It does say that there can be occasional meetings in the event that they need one, but it still is lackluster. I cannot think of any formal organization that I have personally been a part of that has only met twice a year. And these groups surely weren't quite as important. In order for a group to be productive and work cohesively, there needs to be more gatherings. Even if they are in a more casual setting, it would certainly help. This goes for any organization.

    15. With this accessory, the seat of our university is not yet prepared, either by its population, or by the numbers of poor, who would leave their own houses, and accept of the charities of an hospital.

      It is important and good to see that the importance of a hospital is recognized. It is also understandable that people were at this time, at times rather reluctant to seek medical help. Obviously this has changed as more and more problems have become medicalized. It has also changed with the growth in authority in the medical profession. It also still reflects issues today. People who are poorer may not have access to health care or basic medical needs.

    16. primary instruction of poor children, expecting doubtless that, in other cases, it would be provided by, the parent, or become perhaps a subject of future, and further attention for the legislature.

      The Commissioners make reference to more egalitarian education, if only in passing. It is unclear whether or not they are mentioning a real or hypothetical act of legislation for the "primary instruction of poor children." This statement shows that these men believed that all (white male) children deserve education, not simply boys with wealthy parents. The ostensibly American values of equality and social mobility are displayed here; the Commissioners' intention was not to simply create a finishing school for upper-class boys. Somewhat progressive for the era, perhaps. -vw4be

    17. receive any voluntary contributions whether conditional or absolute, which might be offered thro them to the President & Directors of the literary fund, for the benefit of the University, yet they did not consider this as establishing an auction, or as pledging the location to the highest bidder.

      The Commissioners acknowledge that the funding for the university must come from somewhere - it mentions, but is not limited to the the elusive "literary fund" which could perhaps be some sort of state-wide or governmental fund. The author seems to be aware that the issue of funding could influence the location and other details about the university, although they insist that any funding they will receive will not impact their choice. I find this a rather optimistic, if not misleading, statement. In the case of private donors, rarely do wealthy individuals (perhaps investors in this case) donate money without some guarantee of returns or benefit to themselves. The Koch brothers' multi-million dollar donations to universities like George Mason in Northern Virginia are a modern day example of this phenomenon. In exchange for their donations, the Koch brothers are given power to control the college curriculum, hiring and firing of faculty and staff, and more. I wonder how original donors or investors (or the origins of the initial endowment more broadly) impacted the university's beginnings, and consequently, its legacy.

      -vw4be

    18. Spanish is highly interesting to us, as the language spoken by so great a portion of the inhabitants of our Continents, with whom we shall possibly have great intercourse ere long; and is that also in which is written the greater part of the early history of America.

      This is really surprising for me to read. I didn't know that foreign languages were even regarded by white people in this time. Whenever i think about this time period, I think about racism. From the stories I heard about the white male students who attended this university, many were horrible people and I don't think they could have ever appreciated the Spanish language and culture like many of us can these days.

    19. “University of Virginia.”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 this insane to be true, but not at the same time. In our current time period, it's insane that the founders of UVA wanted it to be central to the white population of the whole state. However, back then this was to be expected. White was the superior race and of course, the founders wanted the rich white kids to come to UVA in order to set its repuration as a prestigious university. In a way, this is still true for UVA. The school is still seen as really prestigious and filled with preppy white students due to its lack of diversity and overwhelming population of white students.

    20. And, in general, to observe with intelligence & faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed.

      This statement shows the emphasis the early university had on the development of an engaged citizen in society. However, I find the context of this statement quite interesting. The document encourages that all social relations are approached with "intelligence" and "faithfulness." While this is a desirable goal, when given the context of a time of slavery, racism, sexism, and other immoral social norms, the words "intelligence" and "faithfulness" seem to lose their value. This shows how far we have come as a society, in respect to cultural and social values. Hopefully this is also a sign of future social progression we are yet to face in the modern age. As we continue to fight racism and sexism in our modern society, I hope that we can, sometime in the future, look back on our current issues in the same way that I perceive this document with its promises of falsified intelligence and faith.

      Stefan Lizarzaburu

    21. 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.

      This document makes the bold assertion that morality and education are intertwined. The authors seem to think that this is the case. However, one could argue that those with higher education lose their sense of humanity and sympathy, and have an altered perception of their comparative place in the world. However, another could argue that education could teach people the perspectives of others, and provide a newfound sense of sympathy and understanding in the educated. The latter is a more modern argument of the value of education, which is a perfect reflection on the evolution of our modern system of education.

      Stefan Lizarzaburu

    22. Indeed we need look back only half a century, to times which many now living remember well, and see the wonderful advances in the sciences & arts which have been made within that period

      This passage made me look into what kind of scientific advances had been made in the mid 18th century. A quick google search reveals that many of the bases of modern science were developed and/or discovered in this period. My question is how quickly were these advancements implemented in the teaching of classes such as chemistry. For example, the gas laws we learn about today in chemistry came about around the same time as this document. Were they quickly and widely accepted or did it take years to be taught in school?

    23. Encouraged therefore by the sentiments of the Legislature, manifested in this statute, we present the following tabular statement of the branches of learning which we think should be taught in the University, forming them into groups, each of which are within the powers of a single professor.

      The following curriculum is proof of Thomas Jefferson's undying belief that students should have a wide range of courses to study from. Looking at the array of classes, I immediately think of the New Curriculum which is able to, today, apply many different concepts in different fields and bring them all together, the way Jefferson would have wanted.

    24. 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.

      Thomas Jefferson's ideal notion of students and faculty cohabitating within the Academical Village was revolutionary, and went on to contribute greatly to the academic climate within the United States today. While this particular except talks about the ease that living in such close proximity provides to the students and teachers, Jefferson also wanted all of the academics in Charlottesville to live so close together to promote a constant culture of thinking and creating. If one is always surrounded by other students and professors, one will always be looking for new topics of discussion or soaking up knowledge from their peers. This culture of constant learning still exists at UVA today, with all student spending virtually all their time with other students, and meeting professors frequently both inside and outside of the classroom.

    25. they do report the central college in Albemarle to be a convenient & proper part of the State for the University of Virginia.

      I find it interesting that the word "proper" is employed in this excerpt from the Rockfish Gap report. This sentence seems to be making the statement that the proximity to the white population correlates with how "proper" and "convenient" the location of the University (Charlottesville) was seen. The use of these two words shows to what extent race divided the southern states (along with the rest of the country). It would have been considered unfit of inconvenient for the University to be located any further from the white population, as the university was aimed to serve the white population and expand their power.

    26. 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.

      I appreciate how the document compared the two forms of governance: rewarding for good behavior vs instilling fear in students to prevent them from doing the wrong thing. I'm glad UVA supports the first method of governance, in that by rewarding good behavior, students grow as people and become better citizens. However, I wonder if the Honor Code reflects more so of the second type of governance? The Honor Code, with its punishment of expulsion from the university if found guilty of lying, stealing or cheating, enacts fear in students to prevent them from performing negative acts? I think the Honor Code does include these aspects of fear, but the basis of the code is to hold up a community's set of values. How can a community be just and laudable if it allows its subjects to perform immoral deeds? So, I think the Honor Code includes both aspects of "pride of character" to reward good behavior and fear to ensure the students uphold the ideals of the UVA community.

    27. that each generation succeeding to the knowledge acquired by all those who preceded it, adding to it their own acquisitions & discoveries, and handing the mass down for successive & constant accumulation, must advance the knowledge & well-being of mankind: not infinitely, as some have said, but indefinitely, and to a term which no one can fix or foresee.

      This point regarding the sharing of knowledge, I think, is very poignant here at UVA because the university fosters the ideals of teamwork. The Lawn and the architecture around it were built so that professors and students could live close together and build a community. Many courses at UVA support discussion and assignments in groups. Communities are important because it allows the discussion of knowledge so more new ideas can come to fruition. This statement of passing on knowledge, as it changes with new additions, can be seen at this university because students are constantly making new discoveries and sharing it with the university to make it better as a whole. This is a great ideal to have because the pursuit of knowledge benefits more when there are many teams of minds at work rather than a few isolated minds.

    28. This degree of medical information is such as the mass of scientific students would wish to possess, as enabling them, in their course thro life, to estimate with satisfaction the extent & limits of the aid to human life & health, which they may understandingly expect from that art: and it constitutes such a foundation for those intended for the profession, that the finishing course of practice at the bedsides of the sick, and at the operations of surgery in a hospital, can neither be long nor expensive.

      The authors of the Rockfish Gap Report recognized the need to create curriculum that focused on the moral/ethical implications of medical practice. The fact that the "extent & limits" of the practice is emphasized here demonstrates that there is more to care than simply repairing the body on an anatomical level, thus prompting the need for a more compassionate kind of care. The initial purpose of UVA's medical curriculum was to create a more compassionate pool of health-providers, and this vision persists today in programs like the nursing school's Compassionate Care initiative. This fully aligns with Jefferson's belief that students should focus on their area of study from a micro and macro level, synthesizing knowledge of the hard sciences with philosophical and ethical inquiry.

    29. John Robinson of Rockbridge County, has executed a deed to the President & Directors of the Literary fund, to take effect at his death for the following tracts of Land, to wit

      The development of the University was an incredible feat that I am sure many wanted to be a part of. John Robinson likely hoped to do some good in death by having his final legacy be contributing his land and slaves for the university's use. Though Lexington was not chosen as the site for the University, Robinson's willingness to donate the wealth he accumulated throughout his lifetime to UVA demonstrates the human tendency to be a part of a cause greater than who they are individually, thus in a sense defying death.

    30. , would weigh heavily with parents in sending their sons to a school so distant as the Central establishment would be from most of them. Districts of such extent as that every parent should be within a days journey of his son at school, would be desirable in cases of sickness, and convenient for supplying their Ordinary wants and might be made to lessen sensibly the expense of this part of their education.

      I thought this part was interesting because it differs heavily from today. One of the things that concerned me most about going to college was the distance from my parents. I am extremely close to my family and moving away from them for the first time was so terrifying. However, many kids nowadays make the decision to go to school out of state because they want independence. Perhaps this shows that children today are growing up faster than back then. Nonetheless, I relate more to the document because I would have loved it if UVA was in my hometown. I still feel the effects of homesickness and can definitely understand why the founders would want the school to be in Charlottesville (this is where most of the white population was and had the "best" resources landwise/moneywise).

    31. he commissioners were first to consider at what point it was understood that university education should commence?

      Since university education was a relatively new phenomena, it is natural that the makers would question how to begin. Listed in the document are about ten reasons for primary education. What really interested me was that all of those reasons are still applicable to today's society but back then they were only pertinent to men. Although women stopped their education much earlier than men, it has always been a bit unsettling to me as to how society could exclude women from this privilege so blatantly. The expression of "his" and "himself" and "he" make it obvious who the audience is. My class is about Making the Invisible Visible and the language used in this section makes people's "hidden" prejudices quite clear. After reading the article, I felt so appreciative that I am given the chance to go to school; something that everyone should have.

    32. James Madison

      When I first saw James Madison's name at the bottom here, I thought "Oh of course him and Jefferson were very close friends. That's why he's here." Then I began researching further and came to the realization that Madison was heavily involved with the conception of our university and its continuation after Jefferson's death. He was on the Board of Visitors right from the start, and after Jefferson's death, he was chosen as the Rector of the board. Rector is essentially the head executive, and in this position, he maintained the university according to the image Thomas Jefferson had. He was also an active supporter and funder of the Library at the university. His courageous leadership and funding of the university shows that he was just as important to this University as Jefferson and every other man on this list.

      http://static.lib.virginia.edu/jamesmadison/protector.htm http://static.lib.virginia.edu/jamesmadison/patron.htm

    33. Of another parcel of 153 acres near the former, and including a considerable eminence very favorable for the erection of a future observatory.

      In Thomas Jefferson's first visions for the University, he intended to include an observatory for the astronomy students to use. As designs and construction began, Jefferson's dream became illogical. At the time of Jefferson's death, UVa still did not have an observatory. In 1877, Leander McCormick donated a telescope and an observatory to the university, fulfilling Jefferson's dream for the University.

    34. James Breckenridge

      James Breckenridge was a revolutionary war veteran and a member of the US House of Representatives from Virginia. He was also an alumnus of the College of William and Mary. Breckenridge was a member of the commission that wrote the Rockfish Gap Report to determine the location and the bylaws for the University of Virginia. I was interested to learn that Breckenridge had a similar past to that of Thomas Jefferson, the founder of UVa. This got me to wondering whether Jefferson surrounded himself on the commission with like minded individuals to ensure that his visions for the university would be done. Breckenridge also had the honor of serving on the Board of Visitors for UVa until his death in 1833. For nearly fifteen years, Breckenridge was around and able to make his impact on the University.

    1. Also the whole of his Slaves amounting to 57 in number. One Lot of twenty two acres joining the town of Lexington to pass immediately, on the establishment of the University, together with all the personal estate of every kind: subject only to the payment of his debts, and fulfilment of his contracts.

      This section made me especially mad because it states the proliferation of property, and included in this list is a statement about acquiring slaves. Human beings. Being acquired and bought. By other humans. The proceeding sentence then states the proliferation of land from the wealthy estate owners in Lexington, who will be paid back in full for the University's acquisition of land. The fact that there's an additional sentence included to reparate the landowners for their loss of land, but not a sentence commemorating the slaves for their loss of life is absolutely sickening. Here, land is valued more than the lives of human beings.

    2. 2. the dieting of the students should be left to private boarding houses, of their own choice, and at their own expense;

      I thought this was interesting especially in terms of the popular phrase "freshman 15", referring to the 15 pounds students often gain when transitioning from high school to college. Dietary changes and displacement into a new environment especially can cause weight fluctuations for new college students, and dealing with new stresses can also contribute to increased stress eating and such. I liked how this quote included "of their own choice, and at their own expense," helping to introduce students to a menial aspect of adult life in which they dictate their diets, but an aspect of adult life nonetheless.

    3. which should be a certain but moderate subsistence, to be made up by liberal tuition fees, as an excitement to assiduity,

      I saw this sentence and I laughed at how accurate "liberal tuition fees" was. Jefferson held himself and his university to a high standard, so much so that "liberal tuition fees" were made necessary to accommodate students' needs and pay for professors' salaries, room and board, etc. (same as it is today) However, the "liberal tuition fees" neither compensated the slaves who built the university, nor the enslaved workers who served the students and their every need. Today, UVA's tuition is considered one of the best deals for a public education according to US News & World Report, but this "affordability" is only affordable in the eyes of the typical student demographic, whose parents contribute to their family's average annual income of $150,000+.

    4. whether honorary degrees shall be conferred

      This deliberation has since been resolved, as UVA has honorary degrees and merit scholarships within each department, school, and in the University as a whole. Although such honors programs weren't established immediately, UVA currently has several programs such as Echols, Rodman, and Miller Arts Scholars through which students can apply for scholarships and certain privileges to apply to their time at the university.

  3. Nov 2017
    1. instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      In Making the Invisible Visible, we discussed the difference between order and disorder. Order can be from how your room is organized to the rules created by figures of authority. There can be good order that allows for a production learning environment. And, there can be bad order, allowing for unjust rules to be blindly followed or a restriction of free thinking. In this statement, the tone turns the meaning into "our students will value the rules in place and follow them like a doctrine." In the early stages of higher education, many of the liberties students are given to think, create, and debate were unavailable and looked down upon. In contrast, The University of Virginia currently promotes "illimitable minds and an endless pursuit for better." This shows how one institution can change with the times.

    2. the board, after full enquiry & impartial & mature consideration, are of opinion that the central point of the white population of the state is nearer to the central college,

      In our discussion, we had a conversation about data, We established that there are many forms and a varying level of accuracy within these forms. I posed the question as to how the framers of the University were able to come to the conclusion that Albemarle was best suited for the school. Here, we find out that white students were the desired demographic to attend. After rereading sections of the report, it is still unclear if this final choice was based merely on observations or actual studies. Also, acknowledging that only while males were able to receive education within this time, I assume finding a great distinction between the three options required more than a long glance.

    3. And, in general, to observe with intelligence & faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed.

      The point being made here seems to emphasize the university's goal in achieving a true liberal arts education to form well rounded individuals in society today. This of course still holds true today more than ever with the university forming a new curriculum to bring more self awareness to students than ever before. It's more interesting look at the original conception of this message at a time when whites only learned the ideas of other whites to become cultured. As time has progressed and a wider array of students have been accepted into the university, the definition of what it means to be well-rounded and cultured here has evolved and is continuously doing so as the university tries to breed intellectuals that will change the world.

    4. Th: Jefferson

      Thomas Jefferson was extremely proud of the University of Virginia. In my government class during high school, my teacher once told me that Thomas Jefferson's tombstone writes that "Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia." Notice how he left "Third President of the United States" out. My teacher believes that Thomas Jefferson thought that being the president was more of a civic duty rather than an accomplishment, that is why he left it out. The fact that he valued being the father of the University of Virginia more than being the president of the United States is mind blowing to me and makes me really proud to be a part of the university.

    5. Thos. Wilson Phil. Slaughter Wm. H. Cabell

      Although these names looks familiar and I can see why people assume that Wilson Hall, Slaughter Recreational Center, and Old/New Cabell Hall are named after these fellows, the truth is that the buildings are named after different individuals with the same last name. Wilson Hall was named after James Southall Wilson, an English professor and founder of the Virginia Quarterly Review, not Thomas Wilson. Slaughter Recreational Center was named after Edward Slaughter, a Charlottesville residence and the director of intramural at the university, not Philip Slaughter. Old/New Cabell Hall is named after Joseph C. Cabell, a member of both the Virginia legislature and the UVA Board of Visitors, and a steadfast ally of Mr. Jefferson as he sought to win state approval and funding for the University.

    6. Spanish is highly interesting to us, as the language spoken by so great a portion of the inhabitants of our Continents, with whom we shall possibly have great intercourse ere long; and is that also in which is written the greater part of the early history of America

      Considering that this report was written in the year of 1818, I am surprised that Spanish was a largely spoken language since then. I know that we liked to trade with the Spanish, speaking countries, but this time period seems too early to suggest people the importance in learning Spanish.

    7. By him the elements of medical science may be taught, with a history & explanations of all it’s successive theories from Hippocrates to the present day: and anatomy may be fully treated.

      Though medicine is a very scientific pursuit, I think it is fascinating yet not surprising to see that Jefferson insisted on students pursuing medicine to study philosophy. Hippocrates's Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest binding documents in history and Jefferson cleared wanted students to understand their philosophical place in the world of medicine. Having medical students study philosophy not only made them more well rounded in the arts, but it also made them more ethical physicians. I think forcing medical students to take philosophy classes was a wonderful idea that should continue at the university.

    8. We have proposed no formal provision for the gymnastics of the school, altho a proper object of attention for every institution of youth. These exercises with antient nations, constituted the principal part of the education of their youth. Their arms and mode of warfare rendered them severe in the extreme. Ours on the same correct principle, should be adapted to our arms & warfare; and the manual exercise, military maneuvres, and tactics generally, should be the frequent exercises of the students, in their hours of recreation

      I think Jefferson prioritizing exercise (or "gymnastics") is a quite cutting-edge thought for the time period. The importance of physical activity is still being researched today, as our society still discusses the relationship between exercise and health, mood, success, productivity, and overall wellbeing. This being said, Jefferson emphasizes exercise only within the context of military preparedness, which is problematic given its many other benefits. It is also problematic to me that one of the University's collective priorities was to prepare for war. In my opinion, this leads to a culture of fear and anticipated violence.

    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

      This comment is crucial in the formation of UVA, as well as the general formation of democracy. First, the idea of a man knowing his own rights was relatively new, as lack of rights was a complaint the colonists had to the British crown. Furthermore, to choose one's own delegates is revolutionary, especially in the context of public education. Jefferson's high priority of individuals' rights as well as self governance are a part of the foundations of UVA and America. Self governance is still highly honored and practiced today at UVA.

    10. 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

      I believe that this quote sets apart Jefferson from many of his colleagues regarding secularization and separation of church and state. If the University of Virginia is to be public and funded by the state, it is obligatory that it shall be unaffiliated with any religion. However, Jefferson still considers those who practice religion by calling for the construction of a building for religious practice. He does not ask for regulation of the practice of any particular religion, but he asks for ground rules for all religious communities to follow while using the chapel. I think that Jefferson handled this matter very maturely and righteously, as religious matters are always of debate. However, I am curious to know why he presumably chose to have this building built in the center of grounds.

    11. literary fund

      This term appears frequently throughout the text of the Rockfish Gap Report, yet I am still unsure as to what it entails. Who benefits from the literary fund- the students, the professors, or the school administration? Is it treated like a block grant, where its recipients choose to do with it what they want (i.e. it could be used for construction of buildings or for teacher's salaries). The vague term "literary" in the year it was used could serve multiple meanings, so a clarification of the fund could be helpful in understanding money matters.

    12. 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

      It is very interesting that the men gathered to discuss the establishment of the University of Virginia at a tavern of all places. When I think of a tavern, I just think of a bunch guys sitting around, drinking, and having a good time, not a group of scholars and academics commissioning the establishment of a major university. Why would they not choose a more formal location, such as some type of government building? I know taverns were vital meeting places for people to relay messages and meet during the civil war, so I assume this role carried over into 1818. I also think that it is interesting that the document contains the words "by law." This formality seems to be evident of the culture of the times. My final question is as follows: is there any significance as to why Rockfish gap was chosen as the meeting place?

    13. A Professor is proposed for antient Languages, the Latin, Greek and Hebrew, particularly, but these Languages being the foundation common to all the Sciences, it is difficult to foresee what may be the extent of this school.

      I think this is kind of ironic how different cultures and languages were being taught to elevate students' understanding of the world, but students, faculty, administrators, etc. were socialized to not consider the origins and cultures of African Americans. They refused to even acknowledge that African Americans had cultures and saw them only as property, which is hypocritical of those who aspire to learn the various cultures of that exists in the world. Although these cultures are ancient and falls in the category of history, those who study these cultures that aspire to understand these languages should also be open to the idea that African Americans do have origins, histories, and languages of their own.

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

      This is very interesting to see as a highlight for the creation of the university because it is an established understanding nowadays that college is where one finds him- or herself and experiments with new things. We find out that these values were as prevalent back then as they are now. The act of deliberately putting this vernacular that focuses on one's reflection to being important characteristics to happiness and integrity shows the timeless significance of rumination in life.I find this uplifting because creating habits of reflection is something I highly support and value.

    15. nothing, more than education, adorning the prosperity, the power and the happiness of a nation.

      This quote seems to be extremely Jeffersonian with its emphasis on education and reminds me of one of the goals of UVA which is to develop citizens of our nation. Furthermore, the fact that education has the most vital role in creating happiness in our nation connects to my engagement class, Poverty Counts. Education plays a key role in poverty because people often times do receive enough education in order to get higher paying jobs. As a result, they either work trivial, low-paying jobs or do not work at all. Truly, education plays an important part in the happiness and well-being of an American citizen.

    16. 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.

      This line really stuck out to me given the connection it draws between education and moral values. I find this to be a very interesting ethical debate- do educated individuals have "better" moral values than the moral values of those who are not? It is clear from this line that Jefferson feels as though that is the case, but I am still unsure as to which side of the issue I stand with. I understand the argument on both sides, so I guess the ultimate question here is how heavily are education and morals linked?

    17. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.

      This object stood out to me given the fact that it is the only object of its nature. All the other objects listed involve themselves with the advancement of the self rather than the society- ultimately making it clear that Jefferson believed that the progression of a society stems from the advancement of the self rather than the society as a whole. I think this is an interesting ethical question- should we focus education on a grander scale by making it more global or should we follow the beliefs of Jefferson and focus it on the individual in order to stimulate advancement as a society? The relationship between the individual and the society is something we have been discussing at great lengths in my current EGMT course and I think it is very applicable to this excerpt.

    18. nothing, more than education, adorning the prosperity, the power and the happiness of a nation.

      This reminds me of what education reformer Horace Mann said in 1848: “Education, then, beyond all other divides of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men—the balance wheel of the social machinery.” Like Horace Mann said, education can empower people—despite social, ethnic, or gender differences—to ameliorate societal conditions. Although this time period was characterized by racism and sexism, the mentality demonstrated in these lines in the Rockfish Gap Report is a progressive one. In this line, it does not say "white men are the key to the power and happiness of a nation." "Nothing, more than education" it asserts, is key to a nation's prosperity and posterity as well. Jefferson wholeheartedly believed that the values we hold dear, such as democracy and liberty, depend on providing people with a quality education for years to come. In this paragraph of the Rockfish Gap Report, he makes his views on the importance of education abundantly clear to emphasize the necessity of establishing a college that will serve for years to provide high-quality, comprehensive educations that will enable people to partake in bettering society. This article has a little tidbit about Thomas Jefferson's view on education

    19. 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.

      I think this is something that can be seen currently in the honor system at UVA. This speaks about how one person is not only responsible for himself, but for his peers. One should be not only be able to be honorable and keep oneself in check, but also make sure that his peers are being honorable as well. This is shown in how honor violations are taken care of at UVA today. With the student court system, students work to make sure the student body is acting with integrity.

    20. 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; and others that education like private & individual concerns, should be left to private & individual effort; not reflecting that an establishment, embracing all the sciences which may be useful & even necessary in the various vocations of life, with the buildings & apparatus belonging to each, are far beyond the reach of individual means, & must either derive existence from public patronage or not exist at all.

      This brings up the topic of whether what is being taught is actually helping create good people. the commissioners not only want to educate people, but create people that will better society. They have to decide on what curriculum will allow them to do both of these at once. This sentence presents a good argument that will probably be revisited. With the advancement of technology, many task that we do now may become obsolete. Will school teach students how to use machines, or continue with the path that they are on now?

    21. To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce

      To contextualize this time period, the document was written during a time when the South was thriving thanks to its production of cash crops tobacco and cotton. While the North's economy was transitioning into an industrial one, the South's economy remained rooted in agriculture. It's interesting to imagine UVA as a school that emphasized the importance of agriculture as opposed to its emphasis today on fields such as business, biology, and English. In the early 19th century, it was important to consider "agriculture, manufactures & commerce" not as three distinct fields as we might today, but instead as interconnected fields. The advent of the cotton gin, along with other strides in agricultural technology, helped to strengthen this relationship between agriculture, manufactures & commerce as the basis of the South’s economy, and it makes sense that this early Board of Commissioners would want to promote the interests of those aforementioned fields. An interesting presentation about the economy of the South

  4. Oct 2017
    1. While, that was just one comment in particular that stood out to me, there were a lot more (761 total comments) that employed similar tactics and resorted to language identical to nomark’s. This plethora of demagogic remarks emphasizes another point made by Roberts-Miller (which is seen in connection to the notion of an “in-group,”) and that is this goal of homogeneity (8). Without the support of other like-minded people, their argument seems weak and becomes less credible. Part of their persuasion in focusing in on homogeneity is the idea that having a lot of supporters who believe the same thing, must mean their argument is logical. This is not always the case. Just because someone has a lot of supporters doesn’t necessarily mean they are supporting the right choice.

      This is powerful analysis of the weaknesses of the writer's claims. You do a great job exposing weaknesses and absurdities. I do think you could do a little more to use RM's concepts as a lens - polarization, motivism, demonization, etc.

    2. understand their reasoning.

      Nice overview, but could explain her theory and claims more fully before moving to analysis.

    3. dmit they have a motive and if they are to admit it, their motive is often “something admirable or at least complicated”

      The problem is also that motivism allows rhetors to dismiss opponents without listening to their arguments, reinforces polarization, and makes policy debates (which RM thinks are crucial) difficult.

    4. She notes that even though demagogic arguments aren’t fully logical sometimes, they rely heavily on motivism, “the assertion that people don’t really have reasons for what they do, but they are motivated by something els

      Great point. Motivism is central to her account of demagoguery, and a big part of highly polarized, "tribalized" rhetorical situations.

    1. Additionally, he cleverly titled his article in a way that depicts this issue as a community and campus problem since it’s limiting “on-campus diversity.” Thus, he is building his credibility.

      Yes, and establishing connections with the values of those who may not initially agree with his position.

    2. Good work. You raise an important objection tothe 1975 study, and I like how you discuss the title. It does seem at odds with the tenor of the rest of the article, which is not about personal experience.

    3. that the individual smokes their cigarette outside by themselves or with other individuals in the household who may smoke thus, they don’t actually expose their spouses to the cigarette smoke

      Excellent point - raises a fascinating objection.

    4. Overall, I think Boyd does an excellent job summarizing the skills necessary that encompass critical digital literacy.

      This is a strong articulation of Boyd's notion of critical digital literacy.

      I do think you could take this further and delve into the "other digital literacy skills she doesn't mention that you think young people need"

    5. “pick up the language of technology the way they pick up a linguistic tongue (178).

      Yes, this is a key part of how the analogy works, and also why it is problematic.

    1. . I believe these are useful skills for everyone in our society to have especially considering the overwhelming amount of false information and manipulative rhetoric that exists within media

      Thoughtful discussion and analysis of Boyd - good work.

    2. There becomes a shift in mindset when you embrace the digital natives’ rhetoric which presumes that digital knowledge will just develop on its own over time, which Boyd states is most certainly not the case. Rather, she suggests that we should focus on empowering our youth and adults to be sophisticated and responsible internet participants.

      Nice - this captures the essence of her central claim.

    3. Which means, they too are partly responsible for their limited knowledge and place in the digital divide.

      I think Boyd would agree with this. But perhaps her focus here is on training and critical digital literacy.

    4. at is, diverse levels of skills have developed and this variation in skills is “linked in part to differences in access to computers” (195).

      Nice - this gets at one of her main claims.

    5. generalization is flawed because true digital natives are those with critical media literacy and technical skills.

      I think this partly captures her point. She does think critical digital media and robust technical skills need to be part of a more adequate account of digital literacy. But she is also skeptical that there are "true digital natives" as this divides things based on generation.

    1. An interesting observation I noticed within the two versions of the Sundiata text is that certain aspects of the story changed. For instance, characters names were different, the type of tree the mother requested changes, and details about how the main character receives the tree are also adjusted.

      Yes, although it may also be that the compilers of the story extracted a prose version from multiple griots to create a "master" narrative, while the oral version is just one performance.

    2. cultures might view this “formulary baggage” as perplexing or confusing, oral cultures view them as meaningful messages that should not be altered for once a “formulary expression has crystallized, it had best be kept intact” (34). Ong elaborates further and explains that these oral cultures focus on repetition to engrain information but also to establish a “highly traditionalist or conservative set of mind” (35). This is because they believe that knowledge is hard to come by and precious. As such, they believe only a select few should specialize in conserving it.

      Wonderfully lucid, precise account of Ong's claims. Impressive. But again, would be even stronger if supported with textual evidence.

    3. Niane’s version clearly highlights the focus on syntax while Johnson’s recount is much more pragmatic and formulaic.

      Yes, this is a key point. Your observation would be even stronger if it included an example.

    4. forms of rhythmic sounds that make retaining information easy and physiologically possible.

      Perhaps you are demonstrating the power of repetition here? (The paragraph is repeated).

    5. The first notion Ong discusses is the process of recalling something, whether it be an object, formula, or event, he claims is only possible through the utilization of mnemonic patterns.

      I think that is mostly right. He might add that there are ways of moving elements to long term memory, but they are limited by constraints of oral memory, which is highly dependent on mnemonics.

    6. Sundiata: Two Versions of an Oral Tale, by D.T. Niane and John William Johnson.

      Nice introduction, overview of Ong, and project statement.

    1. fixing the number of professors they require, which we think should at present, be ten, limiting

      While assessing historical documents like the Rockfish Gap Report, we must keep in mind that not everything should be taken word for word. Like the U.S. Constitution, the Rockfish Gap Report is a living, breathing entity that must evolve over time. Although Thomas Jefferson may have initially intended for there to be a small, fixed number of professors, our University has expanded greatly since the publication of this document. We must always consider the context in which a document was written before we decide on what principles of the document should be applied to the governance of our modern community. Clearly, to accommodate the student body that has grown substantially in the past two centuries, it was crucial that more professors were hired.

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

      I really appreciated the inclusion of this concept. College is often thought to be a time focused on academics; or in other words, learning as much about how to be successful in your prospective career as you possibly can. And while this is true, college is so much more. College is a time when people not only learn about academics; they also learn about themselves and how to be independent, and it's quite the transition. Students in college must make their own decisions, decisions that can easily be impacted by their experience at the University. The Rockfish Gap Report describes UVA as a university that works to not only teach basic values but instill righteousness in its students. UVA does not want students to accept; rather it wants students to reflect on their experiences and share with others for the sake of learning and bettering us all. College is a stage of life where our morals and values develop, and for the first time for many of us, our beliefs are not hand-me-downs; they are custom made to fit the people we have become through our college experience.

    3. to appoint & remove professors, two thirds of the whole number of visitors voting for the removal

      I agree with your statement and it is interesting to see the parallels between this document and the U.S. Constitution- the two documents are left very open-ended. As there was significant purpose for creating the Constitution this way, the same likely goes for this document: Thomas Jefferson was intelligent and wise in that he acknowledged his own ignorance and inability to solve every situation. I think that the part of this section that I highlighted is interesting... I am almost sure that we do not do this practice of "appointing" professors and removing them by 2/3rds vote anymore (although I'm really not sure). If we don't, then is there any purpose in calling our campus "grounds" and our students "[first-fourth] years?" To me, being appointed sounds a lot more honoring than being hired, and the same most certainly goes for being fired. I am wondering why we don't do this practice but continue to use other euphemisms.

    4. virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      I find this phrase so ironic... Jefferson explains how attending the University will render virtuous behavior and internal happiness, but what defines virtuous behavior? I understand that the perception of the role of women during this time was completely distorted and undeveloped, but was denying women an education righteous? This lack of promotion of social progression disturbs me, especially when reading all the benefits of attending the University.

    5. advantageous to morals

      I'm having trouble understanding how this benefit correlates to two-person dormitories. It seems as if his extravagant taste would request single-person rooms, for his explanations favor independent study. On the flip-side, how are two-person rooms more advantageous to morals than three-person rooms? I don't understand his reasoning here, and if I can make sense of it, it should be reworded.

    6. 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.

      I admired this segment because it represents a transgression from undermining youths as subordinates to an appropriate transition into adulthood. While fear represents a disciplinary action undertaken by many parents through corporal punishment and establishment as end-all-be-all authorities, this proposition states that youth would better learn and be governed by a system that holds them responsible to their actions. With such a system, students become more aware of direct consequences to their actions and learn through trial-and-error the embarrassments of wrongdoing. Although this section is written in eloquent 19th century language, its discourse is still relevant today and appears in UVA's unique integration of student-self governance and the honor code. The honor code at UVA only appeared after a major student debacle when a professor was killed by students who wanted to see less oversight of their party life. The students in that case received punishment from the first installment of the honor code: being expelled and lowered to humiliation from their peers for being so unruly. Today, the honor code and student council have evolved to complete peer oversight, whereby students do not live in fear of adult authorities, but rather experience a sense of constituency and responsibility to hold their peers to the standard of justice.

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

      The word "reflection" stood out to me in this sentence. It made me think of introspection and how far UVA has come in terms of taking responsibility for its past and harnessing transparency for the future. I imagine that this sentence was included in reference to UVA's academic diversity, whereby this statement focused on "reflection, and correct action" in the humanities and civil duties, however, I believe that this statement has different meaning for UVA today. Like the constitution, the Rockfish Gap Report is a living document, and this statement has evolved, especially this year, ascribing university leaders to speak out against UVA's history of racism and sexism. As for students, this sentence encourages all university beneficiaries to be skeptical and never take information at face value. A couple weeks ago, Theresa Sullivan sent emails with contradictory rhetoric to students and alumni regarding the covering of the Thomas Jefferson statue and consequent police involvement. Her email to both parties included false information about the groups involved, who was arrested, who uncovered the statue, and the email to alumni had an accusatory tone condemning the student protest groups involved. In a few short hours, the BSA and other minority interest clubs responded with facts about the issue, calling out Theresa Sullivan for her false information and representation, but also representing how UVA students today form habits of reflection on administration and respond with "correct action."

    8. 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 argument, beyond being perhaps the most flagrantly racist excerpt from the entire text, gives further nuance to the authors' understanding of education. While education is important for instilling values and the other reasons mentioned elsewhere in the text, it is primarily valuable insofar as it generates innovations, which impact technology and living standards. The focus on progress is a very Western and especially American cultural ideal. Education becomes more like progress institutionalized and less like studying for the sake of learning from this perspective. The attitude espoused here still exists, to a lesser degree, in modern American discourse (ie. "developed" vs. "developing" nations, etc.). Also: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/territorial-acknowledgements-indigenous-1.4175136 An interesting perspective on calling Native Americans "neighbours."

      -vw4be

    9. needing more instruction than merely menial or praedial1 labor;

      Considering that Chemistry was listed above to be taught specifically for the purpose of "[comprehending] the theory of agriculture," it is unclear how the document regards the praedial (land-based) labor mentioned. Public access to education didn't exist at this time, and it is progressive of the founders to consider the importance of extending educational opportunities to more young men, but the document also seems to devalue occupations that require physical labor. This is interesting considering that Jefferson is a proponent of agrarian society, which is associated with supporting farmers and laboring people. Ideally, everyone would have access to higher education, and one's education level and occupation would be (1) a choice and (2) respected irregardless. In the absence of these circumstances (then or now), this dismissive attitude reflects an undercurrent of classism which, unfortunately, still exists today to some extent in American society.

      vw4be

    10. Education, in like manner engrafts a new man on the native stock, & improves what in his nature was vicious & perverse, into qualities of virtue and social worth; and it cannot be but that each generation succeeding to the knowledge acquired by all those who preceded it, adding to it their own acquisitions & discoveries, and handing the mass down for successive & constant accumulation

      The fact that education improves one’s self and rids it of what is “vicious and perverse” puts the hope and also action-provoking challenge into its pursuit. Education is meant not only to prepare you for your career or allow your knowledge to grow, but it also improves you as a human being. It expands your self-knowledge and value to society. It’s hopeful to me that even UVA’s founders saw the importance of the transformative nature of education and not just its practical purposes. Additionally, I think it is particularly powerful that the founders saw education as a medium at which knowledge was accumulated, not only for the purpose of improving the lives of UVA’s students, but also with the broader purpose of that knowledge being passed down to future generations. The idea that education is cumulative and affects future generations extends the challenge of knowledge acquisition beyond being only for the purpose of self-growth, but also growth of society.

    11. 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 find it interesting that after UVA’s founders completely devalued the knowledge of local indigenous peoples, especially after flouting the value of education and the pursuit of knowledge as a whole. In today’s times I think intellectuals are more interested in sharing in the indigenous knowledge held by certain people groups because now it is widely known that indigenous knowledge holds just as much value as other ways of knowing. This being said, our society’s treatment of Native Americans and their descendants certainly has not improved. It has just occurred to me that through UVA’s current increased honest conversation about our history, limited time has been given to the native people groups whose land we now occupy.

    12. 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, 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;

      Here we see the desire to separate religion from the state education system at work. The founders want to honor the constitution and the amendment calling for freedom of religion. However, their beliefs have a strong presence and it is clear in the detailed description expressing that there is a god as a fact. To me, it seems as though by providing this information in a course on ethics, the founders think they are still conforming to the principles of the constitution. Unfortunately, there is no true loophole and these people still made sure their religious ideals found their way into the curriculum. Divinity and ethics are the same within this context. With the courses presumably no being mandatory, the standard of freedom of religion is preserved even though the beliefs of these men were at the forefront of planning out the "Professor of Ethics" position.

    13. Education, in like manner engrafts a new man on the native stock, & improves what in his nature was vicious & perverse, into qualities of virtue and social worth;

      This statement brings forth a common mindset found in the 19th century, by upper class men. Here, the value of education and knowledge is expressed. The people designing the structure of the University and writing this report feel as though without learning, one is "vicious and perverse." This can also refer to the way lower class people with less opportunity and access to education were viewed. These people were not allowed to vote as the framers of our society felt they lacked the capacity to understand issues that they dealt with in their own lives. A division of class and stereotypes based on what side of the spectrum you fall on are already being set.

    14. each dormitory about $350

      I've look this up online and $350 in 1818 equivalent to about $5500 in 2017. That is way, way cheaper than what I think a dorm room would cost. It's less than what we pay for room and board! It costs us about $600 dollars each month to live at the school without the meal plan. This basically means that we can pay off the cost of building a dorm room within a year. I'm not sure if this is the right way to calculate the cost, but it's crazy if it is.

    15. Rockfish Gap Report

      For a founding document of a major public university, the name is definitely out of place in my opinion. When you hear "Rockfish Gap Report," one might think about a tourism site review, but certainly not a founding document. I can see the practicality of this name because the commissioners met at Rockfish Gap, but the name just seem so silly.

    16. 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.

      I find it interesting how many annotations on this passage have been ones of praise, stating that it is admirable that a document written so long ago mirrors the UVa we attend today. However, this passage automatically makes me think of the Board of Visitors which in my opinion (and many others) holds too much power of the University. The Board of Visitors is unrepresentative of Virginia and the University's demographic makeup, therefore, the voices of minority groups are often left unheard. Jefferson and the University places great emphasis on the idea of self-governance and democracy, but in actuality these two ideals are not all that present within the University. Majority of University operations are run by the Board of Visitors whose members have little to no background in education. This board interferes with both democracy and self-governance--principles UVa prides itself upon.

    17. 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. Districts of such extent as that every parent should be within a days journey of his son at school, would be desirable in cases of sickness, and convenient for supplying their Ordinary wants and might be made to lessen sensibly the expense of this part of their education.

      This passage exemplifies the exclusionary nature of which the University was founded on. Not only were women and minorities not able to attend UVa, but also poor white males were not able to attend. It is implicitly stated in this passage that the students that are to attend UVa must have a background in Latin and Greek, English grammar, geometry, and geography. Only those that could afford to employ tutors or send their sons to boarding school would have this luxury. Furthermore, this exclusionary nature continued as women were not admitted until 1970 and African Americans in 1951. However, the University continues to struggle with diversifying the demographic which is most likely caused with the roots on which UVa was founded upon. Malia Valentine (mv4pc)

    18. 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.

      It is very interesting to see how the founders of this university felt as if the age of 15 was the ideal age for young adults to begin their higher education. Nowadays, students enter high school around 15 years of age. This shows how the role of the child has developed over the years, and how the modern generation is given more time to develop and learn throughout their years before moving onto higher education.

      Stefan Lizarzaburu

    19. 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.

      This statement demonstrates one of the original intentions of the university: to form high-class government officials. Nowadays, students at the university are encouraged to explore any studies they desire. However, at the commencement of the university, it seems as if the expected end goal of the students was to become important societal figures and directly productive citizens of society. This demonstrates the kind of progression the university has made over the years.

      Stefan Lizarzaburu

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

      The goals that are listed below basically are to make the university students a successful and contributing member of society. However this is quite contradictory because they are still kinda of teaching that the white race is superior than the black race. This may not be taught explicitly but it is already integrated into the minds of the teachers and the students that it comes out anyway. They failing even though they think they are not.

    21. 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 could be one of the reasons for the recent protests. This says that the commissioners wanted to find a location that was in the center of the white population. This alludes to the fact that the University was made for white people.The protesters feel that they are justified by this because they are going back to what the original commissioners wanted when they made the University.

    22. to appoint & remove professors, two thirds of the whole number of visitors voting for the removal

      Maggie Lavoie. In my Education Policy class, we discuss different forms of innovation in our nation’s education system, and one discussion centered around the hiring and firing teachers, for necessary to a great education is a great teacher. Charter schools preach more autonomy for more accountability, often priding themselves on being bold enough to fire low-quality teachers and seeking out high-quality teachers. I highlighted this phrase because I’m curious how often professors were actually removed by this 2/3 vote and the nature of the search process for professors. UVA is of course a great institution, but I wonder how these words were put into practice in the early days of the institution, and likewise, if they’re put into action now. How are we assessing that professors are not only masters of their fiend, but also good educators?

    23. Ideology is the doctrine of thought

      Maggie Lavoie I’m currently in Debating Islams, and our lectures and discussions have centered around the construction of ideologies in relation to how groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, and ISIS adapt the religion of Islam for their political gains. Coming into the class, I didn’t understand what “ideology” meant even after reading its definition—the doctrine of thought. It seemed too general and not concrete. Other definitions helped provide more insight, like Merriam-Webster’s “visionary theorizing” and “a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture.” The many ways and contexts in which the word “ideology” itself can be defined serves as a testament to the value in studying ideology as a discipline. For, it opens student’s minds not only to one’s own theory or thought, but to how others’ theories and thoughts affect the culture of our society as a UVA community and as members of the larger world.

    24. and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      The degree of importance of having an university central to the white population shocked me, and I didn't know why race was such a big factor since the text could've just said "central to where population is most congregated." The fact that race was at the core of this report was very hard to swallow considering today's society; if racist statements were in any corporation's reports, they are liable to a lawsuit (as a result of the rigorous civil rights movement). Having the university set at the centrality to the white population as a requirement really put this report in a historical context; that the core values of society was race prior to the Civil war and the civil rights movements.

    25. It is supposed that such pavilions on an average of the larger & smaller will cost each about $5,000; each dormitory about $350, and Hotels of a single room for a Refectory, & two rooms for the tenant necessary for dieting the students will cost about $3.500 each.

      This report just astounded me on the level of detail that it went into. It reminded me of the idea of democratic writing that Danielle Allen discussed in Our Declaration. All of conversations that occurred to plan and organize all of the little details that went into this report had to be conducted. For example, the pricing of the apartments must've been discussed with some financial advisers and architects of the institution. The professionals that planned and built this university was indirectly contributing to the writing of this report, and I found that idea to be very intriguing.

    26. that of proposing a plan for its buildings; and they are of opinion that it should consist of distinct houses or pavilions, arranged at proper distances on each side of a lawn of a proper breadth, & of indefinite extent in one direction at least, in each of which should be a lecturing room with from two to four apartments for the accommodation of a professor and his family: that these pavilions should be united by a range of Dormitories, sufficient each for the accommodation of two students only, this provision being deemed advantageous to morals, to order, & to uninterrupted study; and that a passage of some kind under cover from the weather should give a communication along the whole range

      I appreciate the fact that they implemented a plan where it would benefit the students. When I went into the dorms, it felt like it was a place where I could call home. The founders wanted the students to live in a peaceful community where they would have access to “uninterrupted study”. One of the main reasons I came to University of Virginia is because the campus was enclosed, so knowing that valuable thought was induced into the process makes it more special. It is amazing how the arrangements of the university are still intact. It is good to know that they cared about our wellbeing.

    27. 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 find this to be very intriguing that Jefferson thought 15 was a good age to start college. This makes me wonder how people were back then as well as how college was done. As I know some 15 year olds would probably be able to handle the rigor and education UVA now provides, I doubt that a majority of them would. It's interesting to think about how education has advanced over the years, as well as how we spread education out more starting from around 3-5, depending whether you went to preschool or straight into kindergarten, all the way up to around the age of 22-25. This also makes sense, though, seeing how life expectancy was shorter back then so starting a higher education younger was necessary.

    28. latin and Greek

      Latin and Greek seems to be the language every student must know back then. According to the Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson, even college of William and Mary's "...admission of the learners of Latin and Greek filled the college with children." I understand that in the past, Latin and Greek were the base foundation of education and language, but I do not understand in what way they could be utilized into the people's ever day life. To this day, I still question why my elementary school taught us Latin since third grade.

      http://web.archive.org/web/20110221131407/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=JefVirg.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=15&division=div1

    29. 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: for altho the act authorised & required them to receive any voluntary contributions whether conditional or absolute, which might be offered thro them to the President & Directors of the literary fund, for the benefit of the University, yet they did not consider this as establishing an auction, or as pledging the location to the highest bidder.

      As an African American man, I have heard many derogatory and racist statements before, but this does not seem racist to me. The way it is worded tells the reader that it is natural and normal to talk in this manner. White supremacy is non-existent because it was inevitable for white men to be in power. Usage of different phrases implies that University of Virginia was not built for any other minorities including black people. For example, the healthiness of the site could have many different definitions .When I read that statement, I think of the skin color of people in a certain community, but I believe there is also hidden text in the wording. The writers use of this text say "site" but it could mean "sight" as it is unhealthy to even look at other races. I was baffled by this text, but I am not surprised where the founder of the school owned slaves himself.

    30. centrality to the white population of the whole state

      The keywords like "white population" stated in historical documents about the University of Virginia allows the white supremacist to strongly advocate the need for them to "...protect and preserve its White European heritage" (huffingtonpost.com). UVA is known to be created for the people of Virginia, but since back in 1818 over 50% were white, it is reasonable to say that the university was made central to the white population of the whole state (UMBC.edu). Thus, in my opinion, the white supremacist are not considering the historical context of these official documents and are so strong minded in their thought of protection that they do not understand the opponent's arguments.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/reuters-poll-white-supremacist-views_us_59bc155fe4b02da0e141b3c8 https://userpages.umbc.edu/~bouton/History407/SlaveStats.htm

    31. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.

      Out of all the objects, this one stood out to me most. For me, this statement shows what Jefferson's and the other founder's main value was for our society. Also, with the new college curriculum, where it's trying to make us more of an engaged citizen, I feel through this curriculum this object will be able to be met better than before.

    32. we present the following tabular statement of the branches of learning which we think should be taught in the University, forming them into groups, each of which are within the powers of a single professor.

      Upon inspection of the available courses I did not see very much concerning the history of eugenics at the university. After conducting my own research I found out eugenics did not become prominent until the 20th century. A leading research facility in the country, the very same grounds in which students study ethics regarding science and medicine, there is a rich history of institutionalized racism.

    33. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business.

      In the year 1818 African American men were considered citizens as protected by the 15th amendment. Obviously the writers of this document meant to exclude African Americans which made me wonder about the phrasing "every citizen". They may have meant every citizen of the university. This distinction of university citizenship contributes to the elitism of the University of Virginia and the inherently prejudiced and race supremacist values upon which it was founded.

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

      I appreciate how one of the main aspects of the foundation of the University was a focus on writing to express our thoughts. These days, universities are going away from a liberal arts education and only focusing on the academics needed for specific career. I think its good that UVA makes us take a First and Second Writing Requirement and a general education curriculum like the Engagements because it helps us as students develop different ideas and improve our writing skills. The goal of the University from the beginning was to help us express our thoughts so others can understand them. I think that through the Engagements, we are learning new ideas and how to express them to make ourselves into ideal citizens of the community. -Courtney Bryan crb2re

    35. 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.

      I find it very interesting that a main idea behind the layout of the lawn was for safety reasons. I always thought the layout of the lawn was to keep to professors and students all close together and form a community. I never realized the safety aspects such as protection from fire and infection. If a fire breaks out in the rooms of the lawn, everyone opens their door and they're outside. If a fire breaks out in a dorm, people must run through hallways and stairwells to get outside, which adds time. Infection is also less able to spread in lawn rooms since each room is its separate entity, compared to dorms connected by a hallway and air vents, providing an incubating enclosed area for sickness. I appreciate the focus on safety for the design of the lawn rooms.

      • Courtney Bryan crb2re
    36. to appoint & remove professors, two thirds of the whole number of visitors voting for the removal

      In order to remove a professor, a vote must be taken and a two thirds majority is required from the board of visitors. This procedure very closely parallels the process of impeaching a president. In the presidential impeachment trials of Andrew Johnson, the senate required a two thirds vote for impeachment, but the vote was one short with a vote of 35 to 19. This clause of the report illustrates the similarities that Jefferson and the other others felt were important to any governing body whether this be a learning institution or a nation. -Graham Quinn

    37. We should be far too from the discouraging persuasion, that man is fixed, by the law of his nature, at a given point: that his improvement is a chimæra, and the hope delusive of rendering ourselves wiser, happier or better than our forefathers were.

      This phrase reflects Thomas Jefferson's vision for the manner in which the University would educate its students. He believed that the value of higher education was that it allowed the individual to reflect on their personal vices, prejudices, and perspectives to strive for personal improvement. Similarly, In his novel, The Myth of Individualism, Peter Callero writes, "Our educational institutions from grade school to college are structured to enhance individual achievement in a competitive system of evaluation." In this way, Callero reveals Jefferson's motivation for an individualistic student, and subsequently an individualistic society. This notion is the foundation for a contemporary, highly individualistic society.

    38. To seek this finishing elsewhere, must therefore be submitted to for a while.

      During the founding of the university, there was insufficient resources to construct a facility for students studying medicine to fully master their professional skills. Even though a complete medical education was not be provided, Jefferson still insisted that medicine be included as a discipline. This would require students to eventually leave UVA, but Jefferson agreed that this was the best option because it was the best way to prepare for the future medical program. I feel Jefferson's mentality to include medicine without a hospital setting demonstrates his ability to think about the possibilities of the future in addition to how he well he could focus on preparing for these future times. -Graham Quinn

    39. The affectionate deportment between father & son offers, in truth, the best example for that of tutor & pupil

      Virginia, from my understanding, highly agricultural during the time of this document. In a state full of plantations, where assumably fathers were the head of such organizations and highly separated from the functioning of his family, why is a father-son relationship an ideal? Teaching up until a fairly older range of childhood was completed by teachers or mothers. This passage underlines a belief being eventuated through the University's start-up that the most valuable content learned by a growing boy is that learned by his father. The stereotypical nurturing qualities of a mother-son relationship are not highlighted here. This passage also suggests theres an alternative setup of tutor-pupil that doesn't reflect that of a father-son relationship. Is this version the University's planners are attempting to shy away from the traditional relationship of teacher-students? If so, how does this play a role in the University's teaching methods when compared to other universities?

    40. centrality to the white population of the whole state

      This segment of the Rockfish Gap Report makes an interesting suggestion that there are populations in Virginia exist outside of the white population. In a time when African-Americans were, on a wide scale, wrongly considered subhuman, this passage suggests the founders, though highly discriminatory, recognize African-Americans as a population of humans that require distinguishing from. For me, an interesting series of questions emerged. Was this distinguishing of white-populations as opposed to African-American populations a marker of a changing society or simply a need for founders to continue elevating an already all-powerful white class?

    41. fixing the number of professors they require, which we think should at present, be ten

      It is odd that an institution that's main purpose is to educate young adults to be successful in the real world would limit the number of professors in a certain area of study. The purpose of a university to be actively working to gain more members to their staff that could better their departments. The university today has 16,000 members on its faculty and staff. This is greatly above what was outlined in the founding document. -Lyndsay B

    42. the German now stands in a line with that of the most learned nations in richness of erudition and advance in the science

      I found it interesting that at the time of founding of UVA Germany, not the United States, was the leader of scientific advancement in the world. Fast forward two centuries and now the US and UVA places a strong importance on science education and advancements. Since the founding of UVA, there have been multiple scientific discoveries including G proteins. -Lyndsay B

    43. Pneumatics Acoustics Optics

      At first I was surprised about how in-depth Jefferson made this report. These classes are uncommon subjects, but Jefferson still found them important to the University. He could have just easily said general subject fields, but he listed every little detail he could think of. However, I shouldn't be necessarily surprised either because Jefferson did take pages to answer a fairly simple question in Query XIV: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JEFFERSON/ch14.html

      Here again he went into every little detail. -Alexa Bartels

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

      While the University of Virginia was established on the foundation of freedom and equality, Thomas Jefferson used slave labor to build and maintain grounds. It is clear that Thomas Jefferson valued freedom for all, not just at UVA, as he drafted the Virginia Statue of Religious Freedom. He writes "all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion." I question Jefferson's justification for promoting religious freedom while also supporting the discrimination based on the color of someone's skin. -Alexa Bartels

    45. I Languages Antient Latin V Physics or Natural Philosophy Greek Chemistry Hebrew Mineralogy II Languages Modern French VI Botany Spanish Zoology Italian VII Anatomy German Medicine

      What piqued my interest about this section are the languages being taught here and possibly the reasons why. Languages such as Latin and Greek make sense as they have a heavy influence in the vocabulary of the sciences as well as being the two main language pools of the classics. The instruction of Hebrew makes little sense to me because the Jewish Population was small at the time. Therefore, was this a part of a theology course at the University? The languages from French down to German all make sense as most people living in the Americas had lineage to Western Europe to those countries as well as Holland. These last four languages were most likely necessary for communication, to keep up with modern scientific advancements originating from Western Europe, and to study the incoming literature of the Romanticism era in Europe.

    46. the commissioners were first to consider at what point it was understood that university education should commence? Certainly not with the Alphabet for reasons of expediency & impracticability, as well as from the obvious sense of the Legislature, who, in the same act make other provision for the primary instruction of poor children,

      This passage gives the reader insight to the socioeconomic status of students coming into the university, and also the stratification of society during this post-colonial era. College at the time was seen as something unnecessary for most as the majority of populations ran their family business or farms. Those that went and pursued a higher education had the time and wealth to put their resources into activities beyond running the family business. That is why you see this belittling of primary school education in this passage as it was something provided for the masses, and colleges are for those strictly looking to better themselves. Taking into account the costs of college as well, there is a clear divide in which types of people were attending college with the upper middle class being primary students.

    47. 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.

      While I was reading the paper, I was quite disgusted by the diction utilized. For example, the labeling of Native Americans as “indigenous,” and living in “barbarism and wretchedness” are just plain racist. What makes the white population any better? The paper goes on to say that the Native Americans should “indulge in the degeneracies of civilization” but what exactly do the authors of the report believe civilization is? To me, it is a community of people fostering each other’s growth and doing everything to support one another. However, the civilization in the 19th century stifled the growth of many, only to support the wealthy and white. That’s barbaric, not eating acorns. The paper explains that education is the main difference between the Native Americans and the civilized. Nonetheless, the education that the students received was the source of the divisions. It flooded their minds with racist notions and a feeling of superiority. Funnily enough, even if the Native Americans tried to become part of their civilization, they would simply be categorized as the lowest of the low and isolated.

    48. Education generates habits of application, order and the love of virtue; and controuls,

      This portion of the report is extremely interesting because it is both ironic and puzzling. Throughout the paper, ideas of bettering mankind, as well as furthering society are key points. However, we must ask, “who is included in this society?”. The most obvious answer being rich white men. The paper goes on to say that education will instill order and virtue in its subjects. This is such a paradox because although white men were the most educated at the time of UVA’s founding, they were also the most brutal. Most owned slaves and although they were not allowed to bring their own slaves to university, they treated the school’s slaves terribly, exhibiting their complete lack of morals. However, the education they received may have been complementary to the way they treated the slaves. The paper praises education as being “handed down for successive and constant accumulation”. Perhaps the university instructed its students in a way to keep racism and the social hierarchy alive. The idea of education gifting “a new man on the native stock” is a blatant lie. In truth, each one of the students were bred to disregard blacks and to treat them mercilessly. The social order and division of classes would continue, and the virtue of the day was to remember one’s role in society. Reading the paper in our times makes the invisible visible. By analyzing the past and knowing what went wrong allows us to see all of the hidden agendas within the report and bring them to life, namely that of disguising racism so much that it became a natural component of institutions.

    49. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.

      This object stood out to me given the fact that it is the only object of its nature. All the other objects listed involve themselves with the advancement of the self rather than the society- ultimately making it clear that Jefferson believed that the progression of a society stems from the advancement of the self rather than the society as a whole. I think this is an interesting ethical question- should we focus education on a grander scale by making it more global or should we follow the beliefs of Jefferson and focus it on the individual in order to stimulate advancement as a society?

    50. 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

      I was incredibly taken back by these lines due the blatant racism they express. However, I also see these lines as a sign of how far we have come as both a university and a society since this document was written. These lines remind me of Margo Lee Shetterly's talk when she revealed she didn't used to understand the value of history as she was constantly focused on the future and moving forward. While it is disheartening to know that the location of our university was chosen based on its "centrality to the white population", it is also important to know so that we may reflect on the progress we have made throughout history if we wish to continue to move forward as a society and a university.

    51. We have proposed no formal provision for the gymnastics of the school, altho a proper object of attention for every institution of youth.

      Thomas Jefferson's lack of a physical education requirement seems to contradict his belief that "health is the first requisite after morality." This exemption supports Jefferson's priority of encouraging free thought and liberty in actions, just as buildings for religious practices are available but not the center of UVA education. These policies illustrate restraint. Even though TJ believes in the importance of maintaining health and has negative views toward Christianity, he allows both to be practiced as his students like.

  5. Sep 2017
    1. the benefits & blessings of which the legislature now propose to provide for the good

      The authors of the Rockfish Gap Report affirm that religious worship is not conducive to a truly liberal arts education, going so far as to propose "no professor of Divinity." Yet religious language is smatter throughout the document (such as "blessings," "faithfulness," and "religious worship.") In the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom which Thomas Jefferson also drafted, it is written,"all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." In this way, the assertions of both texts are consistent, but the biases of the authors are apparent in their use of religious language. This demonstrates that a collective view of what a society should be is not necessarily reflected in individual beliefs.

    2. In conformity with the principles of our constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing

      I wonder what the authors of the Rockfish Gap report meant by "all sects of religion?" Did they mean all different kinds of religion, such as Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, or did they merely mean the various sects of Christianity? I do think that the authors meant all different kinds of religions. However, the authors' meaning of "religion" can be called into question just as Thomas Jefferson's meaning of "men" in the Declaration of Independence because of its broad nature as a word. Furthermore, I wonder if there really was equality of "all sects of religion" in practice at the University of Virginia because UVA, similar to the United States, often times did not practice what it claimed to practice in reality. It is worth noting that while the Rockfish Gap Report did not specify the religious practice of the University's founders and only covered the topic of religion briefly, the founding charter of Yale University specifies the faith of its founders as followers of the "Christian Protestant Religion." Did Yale place a greater emphasis on religion or even favor Christian Protestants, while UVA treated all religions equally? -- David Gazewood

    3. Spanish is highly interesting to us, as the language spoken by so great a portion of the inhabitants of our Continents, with whom we shall possibly have great intercourse ere long; and is that also in which is written the greater part of the early history of America.

      It is worth noting that the writers of "The Rockfish Gap Report" recognized the importance of international affairs, particularly when it came to their closest neighboring states. The desire to teach Spanish further reveals the wish that students of the University of Virginia might play an active role in those international affairs by effectively communicating with the populations of those neighboring states. This section of the report reminds me of the Monroe Doctrine when James Monroe declared the independence of the Americas from European colonialism in 1823. Therefore, the desire to teach Spanish reflects the desire to form a powerful allegiance among the states of the Americas, particularly against Europe. I also found it interesting that they mention that the early history of the Americas was written in Spanish. As a result, by teaching Spanish, the students will be able to directly translate and learn of the history of the Americas.

      -- David

    4. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours?

      While this is a self-centered and condescending view of neighboring societies and differing races, there lies an important truth in this matter. The idea that education plays a key role in leveling playing fields between races and classes remains prevalent in society today. This sentence remains consistent with the rest of the document as it ties ideas that matter a great deal today with outdated, racially charged claims that were common and accepted during Jefferson's era.

    1. ommunities should extend farther than just your individual geographical entity, unpacking how rhetoric plays a part of widening one’s sense of community is of particular interest to me.

      This is an excellent post - well done. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to your future posts.

    2. To conclude, the part of rhetoric that I look forward to learning more about is something that both Herrick and Thompson touched on, and that is rhetoric’s ability to build a sense of community.

      This could be a great topic to explore in a paper. Talk to me if you are interested in pursuing this.

    3. To support this claim, Thompson utilizes logos by directing his readers to the studies that examined such theory, like the 2008 published study by Vanderbilt University (55). This study involved showing small children patterns of colored bugs and asked them to predict which would be next in the sequence. Some of the children were asked to perform silently, while a second group asked the children to explain their thought process into a tape recorder, and a third group tasked the children with explaining their process to an audience—their mothers. The results showed that the children who solved the puzzles silently did worst of all while the children who performed in front of an audience did best because it allowed the children to clarify their process more than if they were to just speak aloud—like the children who used the tape recorders.

      Great analysis of T's claim about the audience effect.

    4. To support this, she states that speakers with an audience are comparable to “the Greek ideal of being a smart rhetorician: knowing how to debate, to marshal evidence, to listen to others, and to concede points.” (67) How does this relate to the creation of the Internet? Well, while public speaking gives individuals an audience, the Internet increases that audience substantially.

      I hope Lunsford is right about t his, and it is not "wishful thinking."

    5. which he admits might not always be noteworthy but unlike previous forms of communication, has created a new space for discussion, debate, and intellectual conversations to take place.

      Nice overview of his position.

    1. Hi, everyone! I’m Hannah. I’m starting this blog as I begin my final semester at SDSU with a major in Rhetoric and Writing Studies (RWS) and a minor in Studio Art. I’m eager about all the exciting things we will learn in RWS411 this semester and can’t wait to get to know you all a little better

      Thanks for sharing Hannah.

  6. Jul 2017