5 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. 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;

      Though I can appreciate the freedom of religion connoted with this phrasing, I find it odd that there was no open establishment of religious education. It makes sense that religion be taught under the ethical umbrella of curriculum. But it is quite possible to teach about religions without being controversial and I'm surprised the founders did not see this opportunity initially.

    2. To these should be added the arts, which embellish life, dancing music & drawing; the last more especially, as an important part of military education.

      After thinking about it, I suppose drawing might be useful in military planning- drawing up battle strategies and visually depicting how war materials should be organized. But military education doesn't seem to immediately necessitate for skills in the drawing department. Whatever the case may be, I find it fascinating that these elective-type activities are given such thought and priority. And not just for well-rounded educations but to serve an apparently necessary purpose for later careers, even though the skills are dancing and drawing.

    3. It is too of common descent with the language of our own Country,

      It seems intriguing that since day one, UVA has been especially concerned with its own history. Here, the founders are discussing which subjects to teach based on importance. It is determined that German is important due to our language's (English) historical connection with German. Decisions are made at UVA based off its roots. I'm curious if this is something unique to this university or not. Today, we study how UVA came to be and make connections between our university's history and its present progress today. I appreciate how much UVA considers its own history and the history of the culture surrounding it. It's probably one of the reasons it has evolved so much. Those who don't study history most likely aim to change less.

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

      I find this surprising actually. I would have expected the focus to be solely on curriculum- basically just outlining the essentials for students to learn. Even today more people have questioned whether endless gyms and dining halls is really required of a university for students to learn. I would never have thought that these sorts of luxury accommodations would enter the conversation.

  2. Sep 2017
    1. centrality to the white population of the whole

      Though these few words are repulsively blatant and racist to any person now, these words did not appear so back then. When reading a document written in the 1800s, I think it important to perceive it critically through one's own values, but also be able to read it from the perspective of the writer. I highly doubt the authors of this document were thinking "ah yes let us add in a particularly racist line right at the beginning to make us all sound like monstrous trolls of human beings." I think the writers thought this line would be particularly appealing and welcoming to the public. Yes, they emphasized the "whiteness" of the public. But I think the original point of this line is to show the extent to which they had thoughtfully planned and organized the location of their university. They were probably thinking, "ah yes, we have found the perfect place. Where there are tons of people to educate. Location, location, location. Much less rural than some other parts. All in all, a perfect spot to educate the public since the population is so large here." I do not in any way want to justify the racist hatred towards Americans either two hundred years ago or today. But for us to truly read this text we have to find the meaning behind everything. None of these words were added in nonchalantly. I would imagine that every word, phrase, and sentence was considered very carefully, and because of this it is crucial that we understand their particular thought process. Even if we do not agree with it, we should know where it is coming from and the purpose they had in mind while writing. To counter an argument, we must first understand the argument we are countering.