February 17, 2012, by Mark

St. Valentine’s with Thomas Jefferson

My passion and curiosity for music led me to WTJU this week, the University of Virginia’s equivalent to URN (University Radio Nottingham) where I present a specialist show. Where this musical part of my journey takes me I have no idea but I’ll keep you informed.

I have begun submitting my first ‘papers’ (coursework) covering topics from the spread of Communism in Indo-China to the role of racism in the early New York graffiti scene as well as taking numerous rolls of film for photography.



At the heart of the UVA campus is the spectacular Rotunda building (seen above) inspired by the Roman pantheon no doubt. Devised by Thomas Jefferson and constructed in 1822 the layout was no accident. Jefferson’s theory was that a student would enter from the south along a great lawn heading towards the building and would in turn walk towards their education and gaining of knowledge. He then believed upon graduation the student would walk north away from the building having gained a broad knowledge and education ready to deplore it onto the world.



The reason for bringing up Jefferson’s grand building this week is two fold. One is my roommate who gave others and me an exclusive midnight tour of the buildings. Secondly this magnificent building was where on St. Valentine’s Day I went on a ‘date’ with around seventy people. In other words I was invited to a formal dinner with other exchange students on the day of love.

I’m going to my first University basketball game on Saturday as the University of Virginia takes on Maryland and I also need to decide what to do with the famous holiday on the horizon, Spring Break!


– Mark J Richardson

Posted in 2011-Mark