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What's Up in Lexington/Rockbridge, plus Monticello Report

3L Ryan Redd reports on a school-sponsored trip to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Plus, our roundup of upcoming events.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This past Sunday, fourteen law students (mostly 3Ls) piled into cars, headed up 81N, jumped onto 64E, and converged on Monticello, the principle home and plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. The Office of Student Affairs and the Student Bar Association subsidized the cost of Monticello day passes that included the main house tour, lawn and garden tours, and the slavery at Monticello tour. Before arriving at Monticello’s main entrance, we passed several vineyards and Carter Mountain Apple Orchard. Soon after arriving, guests at Monticello board shuttles that take a short drive up to the top of the little mountain where the neoclassical house designed by Thomas Jefferson sits.

The tour of Thomas Jefferson’s home on Monticello lasted for about forty minutes and was jammed packed with incredible facts about Jefferson and his home. Without giving too much away for readers who have not yet visited Monticello, the tour guide made sure to address the stories and motivations behind the design of each and every bedroom and space within the house. The guide also pointed out the great irony that Jefferson, the author Declaration of Independence that states all men are created equal, owned over 600 African American slaves over the course of his lifetime. Life at Monticello was built and sustained by the labor of enslaved men and women. Our guide at the “Slavery at Monticello” portion of the tour told the fascinating and tragic stories of slaves who spent their lives in bondage at Monticello. The guide also satisfied the curiosity of the tour group by diving into the story of Sally Hemings and her six children believed to have been fathered by Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson died with a tremendous amount of debt, and Monticello was sold to several different people before the Thomas Jefferson Foundation acquired the property. Monticello has undergone restorations but remains authentic. I would definitely recommend the trip to any student who appreciates history, art, architecture, and nature. The students who took the Monticello trip really enjoyed it. As an added bonus, we stopped for some of the best Thai food in Charlottesville at Lemongrass on the Corner.

Anyone who makes the trip to Monticello will learn what Jefferson thought his greatest life accomplishments were: Author of the Declaration of Independence, the drafter of Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.


Upcoming Events

Friday, October 3, 2014

Paw Day! LALSA, APALSA, and The Wellness Group will host their first Paw Day at 4pm on the law school lawn. Humans will get hot dogs, dogs will get treats. Bring your dogs. I think cats are welcome too?

Speaker -“The Great American Scaffold”, Franck Austermuehl. 4-5pm at Leyburn Library. Professor Austermuehl analyzes an extensive electronic corpus of major presidential addresses from 1789 to the present, to show how different forms of intertextuality in presidential discourse have evolved over time and have become an important component of the so-called Rhetorical Presidency. His analysis explains how intertextual relations in American presidential discourse work on five pragmatic levels, satisfying individual, ideological, institutional, systemic, and cultural needs. These five functions of presidential intertextuality are closely interconnected and jointly work to create, affirm, and perpetuate American identity, while at the same time using this identity to promote ideological and political goals.

Pre Yom Kippur Fast Dinner at Hillel. 5:30-7:30pm, Hillel Multipurpose Room. A vegetarian entrée will be provided. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share, potluck-style, and RSVP to hillel@wlu.edu.

Artists’ Reception: Photography by Michele Fletcher & Ken Hawkins. 5pm – 6:30pm. Sweet Treats Bakery, 19 W. Washington Street. FREE! 540-464-1599.

Arts of Lexington Block Party. 5-7:30pm, downtown Lex. Art from around Lexington, plus wine from Rockbridge Vineyard and music by Greenhouse.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Free DC Trip: This Saturday! Spots are going fast, but it’s not too late to sign-up. The bus will leave Lex from the lower lot at 7am and drop off in DC right on the National Mall. The bus will depart from the same drop off point on the Nat’l Mall at 9pm.

Guest Piano Recital, Jonathan Cook. 8-10pm, Concert Hall, Wilson Hall. Pianist and composer Jonathan Chapman Cook (b. 1984), a native of Michigan and current resident of Lexington, Virginia, will present a diverse and exciting recital featuring Johann Sebastian Bach’s jovial Italian Concerto, two études by Frédéric Chopin, Cook’s premiere performance of his first piano étude, and the magnificent and haunting Prelude, Chorale and Fugue by César Franck.

Harvest Festival at Rockbridge Vineyard. 12 Noon – 6pm. Rockbridge Vineyard. $5/taster (includes souvenir glass); $3/non-taster; 888-511-9463. Wine tasting, hayrides, grape stomping and live music.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lexington Science Festival. 2-5pm, Lexington Presbyterian Church, 120 S. Main Street. The Lexington Science Festival will feature an exciting array of physics, chemistry, robotics, and engineering exhibits sponsored by professors, students, and local enthusiasts. Volunteers are needed to direct children and families around the exhibits, and perhaps also man an experiment and participate in STEM demonstrations. Email Ellen Wiencek at wienceke15@mail.wlu.edu if you are available to volunteer.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cupcake Kickoff for National Coming Out Days Celebration! 12-1pm, Elrod Commons Living Room. Cupcakes to start off a week of events for National Coming Out Days on the undergrad side. Baked goods make Mondays less terrible!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Field Hockey vs. Virginia Wesleyan. 6pm, W&L Turf Field. Go Generals!