4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. History (being interwoven with Politics & Law[)]

      This is actually incredibly amazing that the founders decided to put together historical and political classes. I wish I had the time to take an elective that specifically did this for a period of history, knowing that so much of history is created by the political climate of the people. I feel like this variety of class would accomplish something very akin to what the University is currently trying to achieve with the New Curriculum: synthesizing ideas and departments to create a broader understanding of a chosen topic. For example, my class on the Morality of Mortality beautifully combined the ethics of dying with intimate sociology and even a few historical/cultural perspectives. It takes quite a palette of knowledge to understand something as deep and complex as history, and no student ever walks away with a positive experience just by memorizing names and dates. Instead, if they are cultivated with an understanding of what caused an event to occur, the knowledge is that much more ingrained in their education.

    2. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness

      This is a very interesting quote to point out knowing Jefferson's roots and his education at William & Mary. Coming from Williamsburg, I know quite a bit about the local history of the town and the college, as well as monuments that surround what students there call the "Ancient Campus." One of the only still-standing original buildings on the main square is the school they used to assimilate Native Americans into white culture. The school was finished in 1763, while Jefferson was first enrolled in 1760. The entire concept of this school is repulsive, but perhaps this is what influenced Jefferson's line of thought when he had this detail on the Native Americans incorporated into the document. Otherwise, it seems like a dead-end addendum.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. a separate establishment under one or more ushers for its lower classes will be advisable, at a mile or two distance from the general one

      The thought of a sort of preparatory school for students who aspired to eventually attend the university is - while practical - a little wild to me just because of what I've grown used to in the modern age. While Jefferson wished to create a healthy living-learning community for scholars of all disciplines, he did not mean for it to encompass scholars of all monetary walks of life. This is evidence that the University stood and still stands most accessible to those with money and a family whose history necessitates their children's success. Children of the middle to lower class at the age of fifteen would be part of the way through their apprenticeship, learning their father's craft to eventually inherit the position and make a living for their future family.

    2. all sects agree with a knolege of the languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin,4 a basis will be formed common to all sects. Proceeding thus far without offence to the constitution

      All of these languages have significance in both Classical and religious spheres of influence, giving historical connotations to the religious texts students were encouraged to read freely. With the exception of Islamic texts, it is interesting to note that the University supplied an equality of opportunity to people studying the original texts in a number of faiths from the texts of the Orthodox church to synagogue. However, were these languages chosen specifically to provide freedom of religion, or were they meant to encompass what Jefferson thought to be important time periods in Western history? Given that Jefferson himself knew several languages including French, Italian, and German, I believe that this decision leaned more toward the freedom of religion aspect, but it should still be noted that the most Eastern of these languages is Hebrew.