4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      This excerpt seems to signify a refreshing departure from the remainder of this rigid document. Even in contemporary society, education is seldom discussed in terms of happiness. Considering the idea that a plurality of the Founders struggled to locate value in all non-math and science disciplines, it seems antithetical to believe that they located value in happiness. This is one of the only aspects of the document that seems to be genuinely transparent and founded in logic and reason. If the student body is disaffected and unhappy, they are less likely to perform well academically. It thus follows that happiness is constitutive of a diverse and well-rounded education and should, as the Founders suggested, be regarded as a priority.

    2. Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements;

      This facet of the Rockfish Gap Report is remarkably interesting relative to the contemporary status of the University of Virginia as a renowned Institution of Liberal Arts. If Thomas Jefferson was as committed to creating a beacon of Higher Institution as is claimed, it seems that there shouldn’t have been cynicism surrounding the merits of disciplines other than math and the hard sciences. Regardless of its founding in the nineteenth century, a formidable education is one comprised of a diverse and representative curriculum. If education is confined solely to the ordered and mechanical departments predicated upon logic and rote memorization, it fails to impart the critical thinking and diversity of thought necessary to attain a well-rounded education. This close-mindedness seems to have been a pattern of behavior reflected in the Founder’s idea that a satisfactory education could only exist in a caucasian, prosperous setting. This excerpt from the University’s founding document elucidates the underlying inequality and sectionalism that still pervade the University of Virginia.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. 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.

      Though this academical infrastructure was advertised to foster a socratic style of learning in which students and teachers were able to transparently and consistently collaborate with one another, it evolved as a mechanism for professors to assert control and subsequently established a hierarchy predicated upon elitism and status. The balcony residences reserved for the University’s professors were utilized by teachers to both monitor the slaves maintaining the lawn and ensure that students were conforming to the University’s academic and social standards. This vessel for control appears contradictory to the tenants and values espoused by the Rockfish Gap Report.

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

      Even in a society plagued by bigotry, xenophobia, and racial prejudice, the nation’s Framers recognized the significance of morality and intrinsic virtue. That Thomas Jefferson and those who contributed to the foundation of the University of Virginia were able to dissociate their ideologies for an educated, honorable populous from their endorsement of slavery seems both remarkable and paradoxical. This dichotomy between personal ideals and reality has transcended time and is pervasive even in contemporary society, as evidenced by the events of August 11th and 12th.