6 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      In my current engagement, "The Individual and Society", we touch on the concept of moral relativism: the idea that morals can be right or wrong depending on the time period and the culture evaluating them. To the writers of the Rockfish Gap Report, the morals of the University of Virginia were sound, so the selection of readings by professors would bolster the morals of the students attending. However, in the reading of this report, and common knowledge of what the University stood for at its inception, we adamantly detest the racism and misogyny that was allowed, if not praised, during the separate time period. This raises the question of where we should be getting our morals from; in 10, 20, 100 or even 200 years, what will be seen of the morals that we take from our families and our University? Will students at the University read our annotations as part of the quadricentennial celebration and be appalled at our morals and what the University was trying to teach us?

    2. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours?

      The subjective implementation of the word "advanced" strikes me. The writers of the Rockfish Gap Report claim that those privileged to this education would be more "advanced", but there are only very few aspects in which this is fully applicable; today we observe how they were not advanced in morality and they were not advanced in looking to the future as they claim. If they were advanced in comparison to their indigenous neighbors, then why was the Rockfish Gap Report only written for white males? The writers claim that it is "preposterous...to look backward for better things", but it is quite apparent that this group is living in the past and has no desire to leave it.

    3. 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.

      The idea of educating students on their own rights is interesting when considering the unequal rights of individuals of different race, class, and gender. While students may come to know their own democratic rights as upper class white males of the time, they might fail to gain exposure to the lack of rights of others around them. This most likely perpetuated a system of inequality in which the most educated elite who likely assumed powerful roles were allowed to continue institutional discrimination. However, it is very possible that if there were progressive professors in the University at the time that may have been honorable enough to teach students about the universal rights of all humans.

    4. By him the elements of medical science may be taught, with a history & explanations of all it’s successive theories from Hippocrates to the present day: and anatomy may be fully treated.

      From being in a Medicine and Culture class, I have come to discuss the many nuisances of what a doctor's education and life is like. We have discussed repeatedly and in great depth of the need for doctors to obtain a comprehensive education, both among different medical fields but also not just limited to the math and sciences. Philosophy, morality, history, humanities, among other subjects can all have a positive effect on the quality of a doctor and his performance and happiness. It prevents the idea of medicalization in which doctors are taught to be like robots and reminds them that they are first and foremost caretakers meant to heal people physically but also mentally and emotionally.

    5. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights

      The founders of this University had the goal of making their students outstanding citizens. The list included above shows us today what a "citizen" was thought to be back then. A lot of what the Commissioners thought of as the tenets of a good citizen are thought of in the same way today, however now days many of these things are learned before or without a college education. Today higher education is more about advancing one's knowledge and getting a job than becoming a good citizen. The goals of and reasons for attending college are much different today than they were when this university was founded, but I believe that today's graduates become better citizens without that goal in mind.

    6. 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

      The Commissioners thought it important to speak Spanish so they could interact with the societies around them. It's important for those in positions of power to be able to communicate with others in similar positions in different countries. This will make for better foreign relations, as it is easier to communicate, and a sign of respect to speak in the other's native tongue.