Tribute to an educator

By Truman Littler

Oil City

Mr. Robert Tomaszewski, a Venus resident who passed away March 9, was a devout educator, a true academic, and an inspirational teacher.

I remember the first day of my sophomore year when 34 students piled into our second-period civics class. Shortly after the ringing of the bell, Mr. T sauntered into the room.

Dressed in saddle shoes and a perfectly pressed suit, he effortlessly encapsulated 34 tenth-grade students by simply walking in the classroom and standing before us.

I can still hear him delivering the first lecture to our class. He stood at the front-center of the classroom and began to lecture. It seemed to me as if every word he said was the most profound knowledge ever disseminated.

"Paradigm -- the way we view the world" (which he repeated three times, as he did every definition), comes to mind when I think of this first lecture.

Other fond memories such as 100-question short-answer tests, verbatim definitions, and reading position papers aloud are remembered when I think of Mr. T's class.

In the long-term, all of this benefitted me as it sticks with me almost four years later.

A true academic, when a student would ask a question, Mr. T sitting in his practically broken office chair would always have an answer and respected all student's opinions.

The year I had Mr. T solidified my desire to become a teacher.

Robert Tomaszewski was an academic, a scholar, a literary, and an unparalleled educator.

His contribution to the liberal arts education of Oil City High School graduates is paramount. His great legacy lives on with his former students and colleagues whose lives he has touched forever.