4-8 June 2007 in Charlottesville
1) How useful were the pre-course readings?
1: The pre-course reading was very helpful. In particular, the Julian Brown article was approachable and thorough.
2) Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class appropriate and useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?
1: Yes, the course syllabus and course plan include a wonderful set of web addresses for future reference. 2: Syllabus was clear and helpful; primary course materials were marvelous and will be hugely useful as time goes on. 3: Yes, extremely useful. Also, we were given great bibliographic recommendations for books and websites to explore.
3) What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?
1: This was a very practical course. My ability to classify and, more importantly, read book scripts. 2: This was a challenging course. CD worked us hard, but appropriately, and the pace and organization of the class were superb. 3: The practical application of paleographic skills was of greatest interest and relevance. The level of the course was great, since my classmates and the instructor were very flexible and attentive to everyone’s particular interests and questions.
4) If your course left its classroom to visit Special Collections (SC) or to make other field trips away from your classroom, was the time devoted to this purpose well spent?
1: Very. CD pulled excellent examples from Special Collections, and really made the most of our time there. 2: The time spent in SC was indispensable to our work. 3: Yes, we spent quite a bit of time in SC, and looking at actual manuscripts was extraordinarily interesting and useful. I should add, too, that the instructor was very generous with manuscripts from her own collection, and used great quality digital images so that even materials we couldn’t handle physically were made accessible.
5) What did you like best about the course?
1: Viewing and handling actual manuscripts, as opposed to only working from digital surrogates, was a highlight of the course. I also appreciated learning to search on and use the Digital Scriptorium. 2: CD is a “born teacher.” She is a superb individual with intellectual substance and competence paralleled by an equally superior teaching skill. The materials of the class were fine, but the interaction with CD, in a difficult subject matter, was critical and never, ever disappointing. RBS must surely know how lucky it is to have her on board. 3: The course is thorough and very well organized. What makes the class so enjoyable, though, is a combination of the instructor’s depth of knowledge about the subject: e.g., if you had a question not directly related to the lesson plan for that moment, she could still provide and interesting and informative discussion; and, her flexibility and ability to make everyone comfortable, and the congeniality of my classmates.
6) How could the course have been improved?
1: Perhaps a short introduction to Catholic religious books could be added to the required readings. 2: I can’t think of any suggestions at this moment. Perhaps after I have gathered my thoughts. 3: I thought it was wonderful as it was.
7) We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by UVa’s Special Collections. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?
2: We handled our manuscripts in the special collections library, as is appropriate. 3: I thought everyone treated the materials with great care and respect.
8) If you attended the Sunday and/or other evening lectures, were they worth attending?
1: Yes, as always the evening events you put on for us are interesting and enjoyable. Thank you. 2: The evening programs should continue to be optional, and perhaps each year’s “graduates” should be asked for ideas about possible topics to present in these sessions. The scheduled options seem a touch random. 3: N/A
9) Did you get your money’s worth? Any final thoughts?
1: I got more than my money’s worth in this class. CD is an excellent teacher who adjusts her lesson plans constantly to adapt to her student’s needs. 2: I came back to RBS hoping for some personal intellectual rejuvenation. I go away more than rejuvenated. This was a deeply enjoyable, informative and rewarding experience. The quality of the program, the excellence of the faculty, and the caliber of the students have been most impressive. I feel privileged to have been a part of this enterprise. 3: Absolutely! It definitely helps to do a quick review of basic Latin grammar before you arrive; and it is a helpful bonus to have Adriano Cappelli’s Lexicon abbreviaturarum and a Latin dictionary.
Number of respondents: 3
Leave Tuition Housing Travel
Institution Institution Institution Institution
gave me leave paid tuition paid housing paid travel
66% 66% 33% 33%
I took vaca- I paid tui- I paid for my I paid my own
tion time tion myself own housing travel
0% 33% 66% 33%
N/A: self- N/A: Self- N/A: stayed N/A: lived
employed, re- employed, with friends nearby
tired, or had retired, or or lived at
summers off scholarship home
33% 0% 0% 33%
There were: 1 rare book librarian (33%); 1 teacher/professor (33%); and 1 full-time student (33%).