26 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. Signed and certified

      There was once an analysis of the signatures of the writers of the Declaration. It would be interesting to have a brief biography of each of these signers and see if their signatures correlated with their importance in the creation of the document or their egos.

      -Shannon Lee

    2. we propose but a single professor for both medicine & anatomy

      It's interesting how little attention was given to medicine at the inception of the University. There appears to have been a very limited amount of material covered in this subject and all of it done by one professor. I'd assume that they managed with this owing to a limited number of students studying medicine at the time. All of this stands in stark contrast to present day UVa, this just goes to show how much the university has evolved since its inception.

      -Kisal Batuwangala

    3. Rhetoric

      It's interesting to note that 'rhetoric' was taught as it's own singular subject. This highlights the importance that both the university and the society gave to things like speech and debate. It also raises the question as to what brought about such a big focus on this subject during this period, seeing how its not given so much attention at present.

      -Kisal Batuwangala

    4. History (being interwoven with Politics & Law[)]

      Even two hundred years ago, interdisciplinary learning was a priority for policymakers. It makes sense to contextualize politics and law with history, so that students will understand WHY laws were made rather than just memorize the statutes.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. liberal tuition fees

      Was UVA to only be accessible to the wealthy?

    2. Ideology is the doctrine of thought

      This is rather interesting to me. It makes me question what kind of Ideologies the students on grounds were being cultivated to have at the time. Where they being cultivated into thinking that their race was the superior race considering the fact that anyone that didn't look like them was a servant, a subject for them.

    3. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization.

      I understand that society was somewhat more racist and close minded in Jefferson's time, but I find this comment to be unforgivably supremacist. It is true that education elevates the minds of people, but with education must come empathy and open mindedness. Julia Stewart

    4. with awfull reverence

      This quote seems to point at a lot of Jeffersonian beliefs, most importantly a strong individualism, a belief in focusing on advancing towards a greater future, and an official form of secularism. To me this quote is quite sad as it seems to reek of pride and excessive notions of self-worth - the argument against this is that Jefferson is simply pointing out that blindly following tradition is regressive, but I think we see best why this is an unfortunate statement in how Jefferson describes the native population as being lesser humans because they continue their ancestor's practices. This is a very Western notion, to praise ingenuity and young striving individuals over the wisdom of elders, and to view with near pity the idea of following their way of life. This American notion is what has destroyed many cultures, such as the Ladakhi people who now send their children to Western schools where they are taught that farming is savage and that math and grammar prove one's superiority over others, which as a consequence has made the elders of the community feel inadequate and simply stupid. I wish Jefferson had a calmer and more respectful view of tradition and community, but he seems too full of pride and American Protestant virtues to be able to reconcile abstract ideals of progress with views of being at peace with nature.

    5. to return to the days of eating acorns and roots

      I think this line in particular proves the linear narrative Jefferson applies to his thinking, believing that history is constantly climbing towards more progress and never regressing. I feel like this is a statement that comes mainly from the fact that Jefferson was influenced by Enlightenment ideals and saw America as the shift from an ancien regime to one that is newer and therefore better. This narrative comes from post-Reformation views of history, and I think America's capitalistic drive too comes from this creatio ab nihilo view of productivity and human freedom and creativity driving future towards greater and greater progress. This metaphor is employed elsewhere in the text too, such as in the physicality of the university as being able to be expanded and built upon.

    6. where too may be exercised the stricter government necessary for young boys, but unsuitable for youths arrived at years of discretion.

      I find it interesting that the board sees high-school aged boys as troublesome but that college-aged "youths" don't need reprimanding. Gayle M. Schulman shows this attitude in action in "Slaves at the University of Virginia," which states "Professors could issue a firm and authoritative reprimand to a student, but could not be personally insulting or degrading... In one instance a student complained of a Professor that, 'he was imposed upon, and spoken to in an authoritarian manner--as an overseer speaks to a Negro.'" I strongly believe that the lack of accountability that these college students were held to only further extended their ideas of "master-slave" mentalities, for in their minds, they could do no wrong. Emma Walker

    7. comforts of human life

      The fact that the University wanted to make the young men "comfortable" at school is admirable, but at what cost? The only comfortable living done in these times was at the expense of slave labor, and it's infuriating to see that the students were to be treated so well by people they had no respect for. We learned in Making the Invisible Visible that the students weren't allowed to bring their own slaves from home, which was both upsetting and a hard adjustment for many. This rule forced more work upon the slaves at the University, as they were each in charge of attending to several students daily. Emma Walker

    8. Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements; some think that they do not better the condition of men

      It is understandable to see people viewing science to be invaluable as their daily lives had not been changed dramatically by scientific breakthrough. The interesting and exciting thing about this comment on people's perception of science confirms that UVa was built with a vision looking into the future. We, as a school, are not contented with the current norm, but are always working toward greater goals.

      Leo Yang

    9. 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.

      Among many other goals the commissioners of UVa were trying to pursue, this objective is particularly important to the foundation of an American education institute. One has to know her or his right to protect himself or herself from prejudice and not infringe on others' rights. The qualities pointed out in this sentence constitutes the base for UVa's vision as of today: honor, integrity, trust, and respect.


      Leo Yang

    10. It is too of common descent with the language of our own Country, a branch of the same Original Gothic Stock, and furnishes Valuable illustrations for us.

      Today, English, a Germanic language, is America's unofficial official language. English's role as the unofficial state language was even greater two centuries ago; this position among languages spoken in the U.S. is made evident when it is labelled "the language of our own Country".

      • Andrew Henry
    11. Some Articles in this distribution of Sciences will need observation.

      Taking into account that everyone is making annotations about the subjects and how these might or might not have been influenced by the many events of the period, I think it is important to look at the closing line of the section. What does observation here mean? Does observation mean direct changes in what was written? Does it mean that the Commissioners did not agree on this curriculum and the classes taught? It is necessary to look into history and know what was actually taken from this first report in order to actually give value to all of the above annotations. The only thing we have done here is speculate on why these subjects were originally planned.

    12. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization.

      This sentence exemplifies the "superior" mentality of the people that are part of a industrialized society as opposed to the indigenous population. Although education is important in furthering the knowledge of humankind and making advancements to help, it is also important to look back and learn from the past. It is not as if the indigenous people didn't learn, they just never learned to study the subjects of ideas. They were grounded in their own ways and they refused to change because they were happy with what they had. Civilization has brought people many great advancements but it also has wrung terrible consequences. The times of simplicity are gone and, the peace of that simplicity, with it.

    13. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      This is an interesting quote when one considers the implications of the time period with when this was written. In today's world, many adults are opposed to the ideals that the millennials are bringing into the world because they are different. I am unsure if, when writing this document, anyone considered the monumental changes that could occur if they allow the youth to develop and "cultivate" their own morals. People might think ideally but when change comes along they believe it is wrong even though it is what they wanted in the first place. School is a very important place to learn about society and culture and this is why students' minds are shaped by schooling. They develop their own thoughts based off of what they believe is right for society by learning about its strengths and weaknesses. After schooling however, people still need to accept the fact that they are still learning about the world and everything is subject to change; they cannot stay within the same frame of mind or else the world will not be able to advance towards a better future.

    14. Rhetoric

      It is interesting to see that Rhetoric is considered a formal subject, just like it was in the ancient city-state of Athens. It was an imperative tool for men that dove into the area of politics, whereas nowadays it is not formally taught.

    15. Military

      It's interesting to note the amount of focus the university had on military education, and the wide variety of forms it came in (Projectiles, Military architecture etc.). This was well before the world wars or any other major global conflict which leads me to question the reasons behind this extensive focus.

    16. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves. These are the objects of that higher grade of education, the benefits & blessings of which the legislature now propose to provide for the good & ornament of their country the gratification & happiness of their fellow citizens, of the parent especially & his progeny on which all his affections are concentrated.

      Jefferson highlights here how the university has the goal to enforce a reflective nature and spirit among its students and to teach them how to be respectful citizens to themselves and others. He emphasizes how the primary goal of higher education is to create well-rounded and well-educated individuals who also want to share this nature with their peers and instill values of creating a positive community. -Allison Ryu

    17. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be, 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. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history, and this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education, of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend.

      The goals that Jefferson outlines here are how he wants every student that attends the university to learn and what he wants them all to receive as students. Essentially, each of these objects aims to shape the students into more competent and active community members with their own well-developed opinions, but the ability to hear out others' opinions, as well, and still act for the better of society with his knowledge. Furthermore, Jefferson entails ideas such as "To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice..." to emphasize his desire for every student to exercise his civil rights as citizens. -Allison Ryu

    18. leave every sect to provide as they think fittest, the means of further instruction in their own peculiar tenets

      This statement is basically stating that the university will not practice under a single denomination, but rather allow all sects to practice, or not practice, on grounds. Directly reflecting the sentiments of Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, this sentence allows the sects, and not the university as a whole, to practice what they wish.

      Taylor Thompson

    19. the university will be overwhelmed with the Grammar school or 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:

      I find this statement to be extremely interesting, because it is basically stating that a completely separate establishment would be developed to school the lower class students so that they are not far behind in their studies. Today's No Child Left Behind Act almost parallels this concept by giving provisions to disadvantaged students.

      Taylor Thompson

  3. Sep 2017
    1. This would generally be about the 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents

      I'm surprised that the commissioners would think that 15 year old boys would have the maturity to pursue education away from home. It's fascinating to consider how the demographic of the university has changed in the past two hundred years, from a population of 15-year old white boys to the diverse culture it is today, composed of 17-24 year olds of many races and genders.

    2. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      It's interesting that one of the original and primary goals of the university was not just to help turn students into productive members of society, but also to enable them to better themselves and accomplish their own goals. The phrase "to express & preserve his ideas" stood out to me as an example of this.

    3. every citizen

      Drawing from references to only white populations previously does "every citizen" here refer only to a white population? If not wouldn't this have required that african american students be allowed to attend the university from its inception?