Teacher Throwback: Eric Arnold

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Computer teacher Eric Arnold, in high school, poses for the camera.

Peter Loganbill, Staff Writer

Q: Where did you live in high school and what was the name your school?

A: Kansas City, Missouri, South Kansas City. I went to Ruskin High School. It’s still there. Ruskin and Grandview and Pikmin Mills were kind of the three schools together.

Q: What movies were popular back then and what was your favorite?

A: All of the Star Wars movies came out in my generation, so definitely the Star Wars. And, similar to that, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones movies and then Back to the Future. I still have a passion for the Raiders, the Indiana Jones series.

Q: What was your favorite class and what was the teacher like?

A: Any of the science classes. Biology, Advanced Bio. The teacher was kind of an old hick teacher. He loved to live off the land, in fact, he purchased land which he still owns in Harrisonville, Missouri, over 100 acres. [He was] very effective in relating to the kids. He actually went into the military service… teaching became his profession once he left the service.

Q: What was the clothing style in your high school?

A: For a short period of time I remember the parachute pants. It was just jeans, oxfords, penny loafers. Nike was pretty new then, Nike tennis shoes.

Q: Were you a good student?

A: I was a good student. I was a nerd kid. I survived beatings in the hallways because I was friends with some jocks, they protected me. They were in the  band [and] I traveled with the concert orchestra, so I was friends with the band kids and that protected me. That saved me, otherwise I would’ve gotten beat to a pulp.

Q: Who were the big artists back then?

A: MJ. Michael Jackson was big. He was the biggest one. Many the artists that just had one hit wonders. Madonna came on to the scene in that generation, she was huge.

Q: What were video games like back then?

A: Video games! The first one my family had was pong. That was awesome. Black and white. Paddles. And then, I upgraded to Atari 2600, and I had that for years and years and years. In fact, I gave my Atari set to my brother-in-law. We still [play it]. In terms of games, Pitfall, Enduro, of course Pac-Man, just the basic ones. I probably [owned] nearly every cassette out there. That and Legos were my two favorite toys.