In memoriam

Monika Takeuchi was one of the first individuals who caught my attention at the Centre for Foreign Language Teaching. It was hard not to notice Monika due to her exceptional beauty: a cascade of red curls, classical facial features, a beautiful smile, and elegant attire. I was drawn to her tales of travels around the world and her work at British and Japanese universities. I longed to establish a closer connection, but Monika seemed to be an elusive person. I heard many stories from my colleagues about her uncompromising nature and high expectations for students and colleagues. All of this intimidated me. Today, I know she was an extraordinary teacher with impressive knowledge, teaching skills, and experience. For many years, I revolved around Monika, but it wasn’t until several years later that I mustered the courage to take the first step and engage in a conversation. Our acquaintance evolved gradually over the years. Until the very end, I continued to discover Monika and was impressed by her intelligence and knowledge, as well as her sensitivity and warmth. The last year of her life revealed additional qualities, such as courage and strength in her unequal battle with illness. In one of our final conversations, Monika confessed to missing working with students. She dedicated 30 years of her life to the Centre for Foreign Language Teaching. For many years, she was associated with the Italian Studies department, later specializing in teaching advanced-level legal English courses. She took pride in her book dedicated to the Law department students: “English in Legal Context,” published by PWN.

Her death filled me with profound sadness and made me realize that some people are irreplaceable. Monika Takeuchi passed away on October 18, 2023, and was laid to rest on November 3 at the Stare Powązki cemetery.

Ela Habielska

The management and staff of the Center for Foreign Language Teaching bid a heartfelt farewell to our colleague, a longtime English language lecturer in our unit. She will remain in our memories.

Ms Krystyna Więcko, as a long-time employee of the Centre for Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Warsaw, was associated with the Department of Resocialization and the Faculty of Law for many years. She was an excellent English teacher, reliable, wise, always superbly prepared for classes, continuously learning and growing. She willingly engaged in various tasks for the Centre, such as preparing materials for students for use by other teachers; she was a co-author of a script for Law students. She excelled at teamwork and was always dependable.

She was an incredibly industrious, warm, and smiling person, never in conflict with anyone. Everyone perceived her as a great colleague, always attentive to others, fair, honest, and kind-hearted. She was very modest and courageous, sociable and sensitive. After leaving her job, she maintained regular contact, attended holiday gatherings, and participated in the Centre’s 60th anniversary.

We will remember Krystyna Więcko as an exceptional person, cheerful, warm, and always elegant. Colleagues who worked with her emphasized her teaching competence, high personal culture, and collegiality. Her premature departure fills us with sadness; it is a significant loss for the Centre for Foreign Language Teaching community.


Dear English Team Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that the funeral of the retired employee of the Centre for English Language Teaching, Ms. Krystyna Więcko, will take place on Wednesday, August 30th. The farewell ceremony will begin at 1:00 PM at the funeral home at Powązki Wojskowe, and the burial will take place at 2:30 PM at Gate VI of Stare Powązki.

Andrzej Dąbrowski

Remembering Mrs. Zofia Błaszczyk

I met Mrs. Zofia Błaszczyk a long time ago when I started working at our centre. One day, she invited me to her Name Day celebration for the first time, which she always celebrated ceremoniously on May 15th. I remember my surprise very well when I entered her apartment and instead of aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces gathered around the table, I saw her friend, Father Jan Twardowski, Zygmunt Broniarek, a journalist, columnist, and a polyglot who knew 8 languages, and Ryszard Rembiszewski, a Polish language teacher and Mrs. Zofia’s colleague from Władysław IV high school, where she took up a job right after completing her studies.

On the occasion of her Name Day in May and her Birthday in September, Mrs. Zofia opened the welcoming doors of her house on Zwycięzców Street in Saski Kępa. And at these celebrations, in addition to the already mentioned guests – who came from near and far – there were ambassadors, journalists, former students – from the Władysław IV high school class in Praga, numerous graduates of the University of Warsaw: diplomats, embassy staff, scientists, professors, doctoral students, scholarship holders, English language teachers, and teachers of other subjects, lower and higher-ranking officials, mayors and deputy mayors, etc. Mrs. Zofia knew everyone by name, and taught the vast majority of them. In May, they came with arms full of tulips, lilies of the valley, and lilacs. There were original poems about Zofia, handwritten on decorative cards, solemnly read out. There were guitars, wine, and singing.

Let me quote Zygmunt Broniarek: “When we talk about women, we cannot fail to mention a certain… English teacher. It is Zofia Błaszczyk from the University of Warsaw, the wife of the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Ambassador,” Stanisław Błaszczyk. I am a witness to the following scene. We are standing with Mrs. Zofia, Professor Longin Pastusiak, the owner of the “Pekin” Hotel (nomen omen) in Władysławowo, Mr. Paweł (…) and his wife. Suddenly, a young man approaches the table, greets Mrs. Zofia, and says, “Professor, how much do I owe you!” What turns out? This young man is her student, Roman Smogorzewski, today the President of the City of Legionowo. Thanks in part to Mrs. Zofia – and of course his own talents – Mr. Roman can hold such a position. And although Mrs. Zofia does not like to talk about it, she is not only a teacher, but above all, a co-creator of many young Polish elites.”

Mrs. Zofia loved life, traveling, Sopot, classical music, and the Warsaw Philharmonic, but above all, people. She had a gift for seeing the good in others before being impressed by them; in every person, she saw an outstanding, exceptional, and wonderful individual. She didn’t talk about herself too much. She could create friendly bonds and maintain them for years. She remembered her friends’ and acquaintances’ name days, birthdays, and anniversaries, sending hundreds of cards and presents. She gathered many people around her. For years, she was also present in my life, which is very important to me.

She passed away on April 8, 2020. Due to the pandemic, only her immediate family attended the funeral. On April 16, 2020, Mrs. Zofia was laid to rest at the Military Powązki Cemetery.


With great sorrow, we inform you of the passing of Mgr. Marta Osiak, a longtime employee of the Centre for Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Warsaw and an English language lecturer. Ms. Marta Osiak was highly regarded and beloved by colleagues at the Centre for Foreign Language Teaching, as well as greatly appreciated by students. Her work, always performed at the highest level, and her kind-hearted demeanor will remain in our memory.

April 8, 2021