Oscar Roseanu as a teacher

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This is me, Oscar Roseanu, as a teacher, with a graduating class of the ?Spiru Haret? High School in Bucharest, in the 1970?s. I am in the middle, the gray-haired and wear glasses.

My name is Oscar Roseanu [changed in 1947 from Oszkar Rosenfeld]. I was born in Petrosani, on 2nd May 1923. I went to college in Bucharest and started a new life. I graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry of the University of Bucharest. I stayed in the ?Spiru Haret? High School, in Bucharest, as a chemistry teacher from 1964 until the day of my retirement, in 1986.

I shot two full-length school films there: 'The Chemical Compounds' and 'How to Solve Chemistry Problems', which reviewed 14 types of problems. The films featured pupils of the high school. The furniture I designed and made for the chemistry lab became a prototype that was used by several schools in the Capital and in Ilfov County. We had a special chemistry lab with front works; each pupil had his own chemical substances. We had 90 photos from all the branches of the chemical industry in Romania; I put them on a rack that I placed on the teacher's desk and the whole class could see what the machinery in the chemical industry looked like. We had 3D maps built by the students in evening school that featured the '14 branches of the chemical industry' using small light bulbs. A push of a button displayed the oil industry; another push displayed the salt industry and so on and so forth. But there came a time when we had to send the entire lab to Cuba, because Misses Ceausescu [the wife of Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu] had promised to equip a chemistry lab in Havana. I have three patents for teaching equipment. They all refer to modeling chemical phenomena. Today everything is computer-based. But back then, it meant something.

I organized camps during every vacation. Pupils stood in line to sign up for them two months in advance. They liked to go with me because I used to take them hiking in the mountains all day long. We were once in the Ceahlau Mountains and we got to a waterfall with a staircase next to it. We wanted to eat, but there was nowhere we could sit. ?We?ll sit on the stairs!? And the entire group lay down on the stairs. They loved it and their vacations were indeed very pleasant. In my teaching career I managed to make my pupils understand an essential thing: ?Work hard, play hard!? I may have told jokes in class and played badminton during the breaks, but that didn't prevent me from taking my job very seriously; when it came to teaching my students, I made no compromise.

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Interviewee: Oscar Roseanu
Anca Ciuciu
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Bukarest, Romania


Oscar Roseanu
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after WW II:
Educational inspector, high school teacher of chemistry
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