4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. Some of these have rendered the elements themselves subservient to the purposes of man, have harnessed them to the yoke of his labours

      The sentence here regarding technology and its use to manipulate and claim land as resources instead of shared environments hints at sentiments that continue to fuel the debate on man’s role in exacerbating climate change and the degradation of the earth. While the document emphasizes the benefits of higher education on improving man as individuals prior to this point, this statement here presents a darker, more exploitative use of knowledge for gain. Undertones of submission and subservience to the human race further invoke a strong sense of superiority that inherently perpetuates dangerous rates of resource consumption of in order to maintain high standards of living without a thought for its cost to the environment. It is this fostered sense of entitlement that inherently proves destructive to man’s surroundings, solidified by the current state of the world and the earth.

    2. his would leave us then without those callings which depend on education, or send us to other countries, to seek the instruction they require.

      Even in the early beginnings of America, there existed a “take up the white man’s burden” mentality already brewing in the American citizenry, especially among the educated elite - seeing as education is still inherently more accessible to mainly a white populace (even by today’s standards). Illustrating the kindling of policies such as the Manifest Destiny, to “send us to other countries, to seek the instruction they require” invokes a certain sense of western superiority over other cultures, fueling a sense of responsibility to further westernize countries and peoples deemed “developing” or “third world”. Even in America’s origins as settlements rooted in imperialism and colonialism, the notion of spreading westernization, be it through colonies or missionaries, continues to maintain its relevancy within this document as well as tensions rooted in this notion still present globally.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. To enlighten them with mathematical and physical sciences which advance the arts & administer to the health, the subsistence & comforts of human life:

      In the Rockfish gap report, the writers have to justify the relevance of mathematical and physical sciences in a holistic education. However, in the intensely, stem-based environment of today’s society, the notion of advocating in favor of these fields strikes a rather amusing chord. With the rise of technological advancements at a near exponential rate, a focus on STEM education has taken the global community by storm, which unfortunately results in the lack of support, and, more concretely, lack of funding for the arts. Yet, as laid out by President John F. Kennedy, “this country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.” Mirrored in the ideals of the university, the writers continue to solidify the importance of a well-rounded education, pushing the importance of both scientific thought and artistic expression, and the value in encouraging growth in both - a personal mission of mine.

    2. the incalculable advantage of training up able counsellors to administer the affairs of our Country in all its departments, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, and to bear their proper share in the councils of Our National Government; nothing, more than education, adorning the prosperity, the power and the happiness of a nation.

      A fundamental part of higher education laid out in the Rockfish gap report was its role in building and molding “good men,” and ultimately, the citizenry of America. Even as many of the founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, have reflected in their plans for the newborn country, they championed an educated population in the form of an electoral college to elect the country’s executive, in fear of the direct election of a tyrant. However, the access to higher education was limited to only a singular demographic: white, landowning men. While ensuring educated decisions on the fate of the country is a reasonable, and respectable notion, the very barrier to access to education for underrepresented groups primes the ruling class to be solely dominated by a white, male populace, therefore laying the foundations for centuries of control.