4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. The considerations which have governed the specification of languages to be taught by the professor of Modern Languages were that the French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead: that the 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 first part is slightly troubling to me because on the one hand I agree with the fact that French is an important language to teach when dealing with the pursuit of the sciences, but there are also other equally important languages as well. Yes the Enlightenment largely took place in France and was lead by many French scientists and philosophers, the Golden Age of Islam also gave way to some of the earliest scientific breakthroughs. There was a time when Arabic was the language of science. It was even during this time that physicist Ibn al-Haytham discovered the scientific method! Although French is rich in a similar way, there is no one language of intercourse in the world. We should continue to foster the learning of all languages to create an even more globally connected society.

    2. 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.

      It is interesting to read the document that outlined what the original UVA student should expect to learn while enrolled at the University. These days you hardly hear somebody say, "Oh I want to improve my morals and faculties by reading." Instead they talk about how they want to be a doctor or a stock broker or start their own small business. It is rather refreshing to read that once upon a time it was the norm for institutions of higher education to put emphasis on how to be a good, ethical citizen rather than on how to find the integral of a polynomial. It is apparent that the University saw civic engagement as a crucial component of a UVA education. Knowing how to interact with coworkers/neighbors/bosses is sometimes a more important skill than one would think.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. 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.

      Self-governance has been at the core of the University of Virginia ever since its founding. It is remarkable to see that the spirit of honor and responsibility is still so active in the community. Students truly do take this attitude to heart. From the very start, students have shaped the ideals of their community at the University. Although the administration plays one role or another in almost every other sector of student life, they have left self-governance up to us. From the honor society to student council, we are in control. The real world is shaped by those who put in the effort to make it a better place. What better way to begin this initiative than at the collegiate level?

    2. Nor must we Omit to mention, among the benefits of education, 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.

      It is interesting to read that the founders of the University viewed civic engagement as something expected of all graduates. By receiving a multifaceted education, students were entrusted with a sense of responsibility to serve the community. This is rather unsurprising since many of the founders of the University were also founders of the nation. Leading others and engaging politically was something they viewed as a given. I am enthused to read these lines because I happen to share the same views. The founders saw education as the key to a politically engaged and active society.