4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. In entering on this field, the commissioners are aware that they have to encounter much difference of opinion as to the extent which it is expedient that this institution should occupy.

      There are indeed many oppositions to anything. And of course a lot to this important issue of establishing a university. It is rather interesting to see in this report some of the rooted mindsets and values that used to be the norm for the society. Things like the uselessness of learned science and dispute over private and public education are really different from what we currently hold true: we currently value heavily on science and applied science. These differences show the trace of evolution in our society, either in a good or a bad way. It is the most important information we can get—the background knowledge that set the tongue for the past views or opinions. Moreover, since this university was erected in the long history, values or visions have been changing and need to continuously change to follow the globe. Otherwise, we will fall behind and lose our competitiveness as a global force. -- Haoyu Li

    2. 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.

      Here are some very strong views advocating the importance of knowledge and education. It is amazing to see such emotional and energetic argument for public education at that time, when illiteracy was pervasive and education was only for the elite. Education was often out of public reach, unlike what it is now. As advocates for university, these people were clear and aware of the importance of education, and the result of the lack of education. Education is the key to empower humanity. Just as sated here, although the tone is quite cynical when its writer makes comparison with the native uneducated people and the educated white people, education inspires people, liberates people, fosters people with knowledge and norm, and develops people from pray to predator and finally to the supervisor of the earth. Education as well as knowledge is the best gift and legacy that our ancestors leave to us. And it is knowledge which distinguish humanity and everything else. -- Haoyu Li

  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

      It is somewhat interesting to notice that the center of our current university remains relatively unchanged since the proposal plan of its building. Many of the buildings would be damaged through time, but they were rebuilt in their same design. As said in later paragraph, the design is to remind us of the morals, the order, and the uninterrupted study that our university hopes to emphasize. So I believe this is why UVa wants to keep the design after generations. Besides, it shows the tradition of our school that has passed along through hundreds of years. Hardly anything would last for hundreds of years except knowledge and beliefs. Things will be damaged, but ideas can be passed along safely and consistently. The power of tradition should never be underestimated. That may explain why UVa is still stone and flourishing till now. In relation to my engagement it explains the importance of tradition, especially when at the time one is unable to find archive or old information, he can try to by observing the current traditions that were left behind. They may be the clue to the answer.

    2. In this enquiry they supposed that the governing considerations should be the healthiness of the site, the fertility of the neighbouring country, and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state

      Their 3 considerations of choosing a place for university are somewhat reasonable and understandable. First 2 very important as they can ensure a diversity of the school culture (due to fertility) and safety/wealth of education to students (due to healthiness of the site). Diversity is still now a key value of UVa and UVa managed to flourish because of that, proving the right and fair consideration of choosing a site. As only the elite/rich were able to go to the university in 19th century, it was necessary to choose a site of sufficient health and wealth. It is no longer a big deal now due to scholarships or governmental subsidies, but it was an important consideration at that time. The 3rd is very much different from our current value of racial equality. But at that time, it was important to ensure the centrality of the white as the white were the elite and the upperclass of the society of the US. If the university was located near black population, it would be believed by the society that safety of the site or the quality of student might suffer. Such interesting differences tell at that time the culture of the society and many other background knowledges. As for its lesson to my engagement of fieldwork, I believe it shows the importance of considering background information before doing any research, especially social science or anthropological research. What we see now may be very different from what they used to be in the past. If we do not change our current view when doing fieldwork, things might get messy and we may fail to comprehend the situation.