The Blog @
Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Academics

  1. Liberal Arts in England

    August 22, 2014

    The last hurrah of my summer was a three-week Travel Study trip to England. After a month of studying English political writings and literature, twelve other students and myself set up camp in London. We couldn’t use our normal phones. None of us knew exactly how to navigate the public transportation. Nonetheless, we had a blast. To paraphrase a local advertisement, it was an “absolutely no nasties” experience.

    The trip included visits to Dover Castle, Stonehenge, Canterbury Cathedral, the Globe Theatre, the homes of Wordsworth and Milton, Christ Church College at Oxford, and dozens of other sites along the way. Smaller groups of us visited several of London’s West End theaters, and a few of us braved persecution and stood in line to see Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. I especially enjoyed the British Museum and the Lake District.

    The educational  anchor of the trip was a series of group discussions. Professors Jan-Erik Jones and Scott Dransfield instructed us on key bits of history and politics before several of our major excursions. Both professors came prepared with not only expertise and insight, but contagious levels of enthusiasm. In quieter moments, they shared their views on subjects such as fish and chips and bird lore, from which one member of the group learned to do a spanking-good impersonation of an English Moor Hen.

    It was fun to study the etymology of pub names such as Merlin’s Beard, Captain Hook’s Cookery and the Rubber Squirrel. I learned more about art, language, religion and even architecture than I bargained for, and I left England with an itch to keep learning. I thoroughly recommend trying Travel Study during your time at Southern Virginia. As one student in the group put it, it’s a true liberal arts experience.

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Photos by Delaney Taylor ’15 and Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  2. Highlights from Last Year’s Speeches

    August 14, 2014

    One of the great opportunities at Southern Virginia is to attend the awesome weekly forums and devotionals. Some of these speeches are super inspirational and I’m excited to attend them during the upcoming semester. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some highlights from last year. Here are short snippets from just four speeches. You can, of course, always listen to all the speeches at soundcloud.com/svuedu.

    Orson Scott Card

    Professor of Writing and Literature, Southern Virginia University

    “Literature, Logic, and the Scientific Method”

    Devotional | October 18, 2013

    “God says over and over again: Prove me! Test me! Perform this experiment! … But Korihor always wants to get the results without performing the experiment. Korihor always says, ‘Show me a sign.’ And you go, ‘You’ll have your sign if you live the law.’ That’s all. That’s all you have to do. Perform the experiment in your own life. Obey these commandments, live your life according to this pattern, and you will find that everything is proven and borne out to you. You cannot falsify this hypothesis as long as you follow this methodology, because it’s true. We embrace the scientific method.”


    Tito Momen & Jeff Benedict

    Authors of “My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian”

    “Tito’s Story”

    Devotional | February 21, 2014

    “When he gave me the place to read, I read and I was just silent for some time because I was really hit hard. What I wanted to see was [some] kind of Islamic commandments or Ten Commandments: ‘Thou shalt not drink!’ … But this was something completely different. To me … this is a loving and kind Father counseling His own children that alcohol and hot drinks are not for the body. So, I really feel touched, and instead of me challenging him, now I just ask him. I wanted to know more from him about the Church.”


    Bill Bolling

    Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

    “Painting the Picture of Your Life”

    Forum | October 25, 2013

    “I would challenge each of you today, as you begin painting this picture of your life, to set lofty goals and dream big dreams for your life, and then work hard every day to achieve those goals and live those dreams. Don’t limit yourself because the only one that can put limitations upon you is you. The truth is, if your mind can conceive it and you can believe it, you can achieve it if you simply work hard every day to achieve those goals and live those dreams. … I want you to be masters of your destiny not victims of your circumstances.”


    Terryl Givens

    James A. Bostwick Chair in English, University of Richmond

    “Why We Know More than We Think (but Less than We Want)”

    Devotional | November 1, 2013

    “You may ask, ‘But what am I objectively?’ My point is that the qualifier is meaningless. Does a camera, a DNA sequencer, and a full spectrum lab report provide the truest, the richest account of who I am? Or do my spouse and children? Love does not blur the reality behind the appearances, it reveals it. … The human impulse towards the sublime and the artist’s revelation of the beautiful, love’s power to unlock the full splendor of the other, its blinding revelation of the infinite worth of the individual, and conscience with its unwavering response to moral imperatives, its blaring protest against evil and gentle enticement to recognize the good—all of these are living proofs that different ways of knowing exist. We employ them. We rely upon them. And we should.”

    (Post by Alec Johnson ’14.)

  3. Travel Study in Italy

    July 28, 2014

    This summer, a group of students set off from Buena Vista and traveled to Italy to study the Renaissance in a ten-day academic adventure. The group, led by Professor Crawford, visited not only the bustling cities of Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan, but also small country towns such as Spello, giving students first hand exposure to both the vivacious life and architecture of ancient Italian cities and the quiet culture of the Italian countryside.

    Along with the range of cultural experiences that the Italian adventurers gained, they saw in person some of the most revered and iconic pieces of art in the world, ranging from sculptures by Bernini and Michelangelo to Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence.

    (Post by Tamsin Himes. Photos by Travel Study participants.)

  4. Independence Day: Let Freedom Ring!

    July 2, 2014

    flag

    Everyone knows that we celebrate Independence Day on July 4 — with patriotic displays, parades, barbecues and fireworks — but it’s the wrong day, according to John Adams.

    John Adams wrote to Abigail that “The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the history of America,” because the Continental Congress voted for Independence on July 2.

    Here are some interesting Independence Day facts:

    • Not all states voted for independence that day — New York’s delegates abstained because they hadn’t been given permission by their state to vote on the question of independence. They approved the action of the Continental Congress July 9.

    Independence Hall

    Independence Hall (National Park Service photo)

    • The Declaration of Independence was officially signed August 2, 1776.

    John Trumball Declaration

    John Trumbull painting in the U.S. Capitol (Architect of the U.S. Capitol photo)

    • This is what the room looks like today. Not exactly as we saw it in the movie “National Treasure.”

    Independence Hall room

    Signing room (National Park Service photo)

    • In 1776, there were about 2.5 million residents of this new country. Now there are more than 310 million residents.
    • The “Dunlap Broadside,” or original printed version of the Declaration of Independence, consisted of 200 copies. Only 26 have been accounted for.
    • Independence Day has been celebrated since 1777 but didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870.

    loud bangs

    So this Friday, be sure to celebrate! My favorite part is the fireworks — the louder, the better. If you’re in Buena Vista for the summer, check out the annual ballon rally and firework show at the Virginia Military Institute.

    Some Von Canon Library resources about our declaration for independence:

    Books

    “Founding Mothers: the women who raised our nation”
    by Cokie Roberts

    “The annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence”
    edited by Jack Rakove

    “Foreign affairs and the Founding Fathers: from Confederation to Constitution, 1776-1787″
    by Norman A. Graebner

    “The faiths of the Founding Fathers”
    by David L. Holmes

    Movies

    “John Adams”
    HBO Films (DVD)

    “1776″
    Columbia Pictures (DVD)

    “A More Perfect Union”
    BYU Productions

    Articles

    “Suicide Pact: 56 men put their lives on the line by signing the Declaration of Independence”
    by William Hogeland
    American History August 2013

    “When in the course of human events it became necessary to celebrate July 4th”
    by James R. Heintze
    Phi Kappa Phi Forum
    Summer 2009

    (Post by Melissa Davis. Photos by Melissa Davis and Eryn Davis.)

  5. Photos & Videos: Commencement

    June 30, 2014

    We enjoyed a beautiful Commencement on May 8, 2014, with addresses by Elaine S. Dalton and three graduating seniors. View their speeches and a Commencement video below.

    Commencement 2014 Video

    Elaine S. Dalton

    Valedictorian George Ryan Sloan

    Salutatorian Sariah Benson Rodriguez

    Senior Speaker Gregory J. Turner

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Brinn Willis ’07, Jordan Wunderlich ’16, Hysen Justo, and Hannah King ’13. Videos by John Worthington ’13.)