"A Reunion of Mr. Arrington's Students"
A Reunion of Mr. Arrington’s Students By George Arrington (Teacher, 1977-1986) From 1977 until 1986, I was a teacher of mathematics, physics and computer science at Flint Hill Preparatory School. (I was the guy who started the computer science program with an old TRS- 80 Model I.) During those years, I gained another family in my students and fellow teachers. I often remember those days as some of the best of my life. Although I now live in California, I occasionally travel back to Virginia. This was the case back in late February 2011. After speaking with some of my former students (Chuck Pappas, Robert Edmonds and Sue Adams), we thought it would be a great idea to get some of the folks from back then to get together for a casual dinner and evening of reminiscing. Thanks to e-mail and Facebook (oh, how I wish we had those tools in the 1980’s), we planned to gather on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at Famous Dave’s BBQ in Chantilly, VA. I arrived just before the appointed hour of 6 PM and took a seat at the large, empty reserved table. While our Facebook event page and e-mail had confirmed about 30 people, no one was showing up as the minutes ticked by. I was becoming a bit concerned that I might be dining alone. And then Janet (Parks) Hoge walked in the door. I immediately recognized her from her Facebook photo and we began to talk about stuff. Soon, other people I hadn’t seen in more than a quarter of a century began to filter in from the rainy and traffic laden evening. With each face that walked in the door, the evening became more and more festive. (I think we may have even reached the level of “rowdy” at one point.) Although she e-mailed at the last moment that she couldn’t make it, former Kindergarten teacher and cheerleading coach, Sherri Seeger walked in to everyone’s surprise. Of all of us, Sherri has changed the least. (I believe she has a painting in the attic.) Several of my former students brought old yearbooks with them and we were able to go over those and recall lots of memories. We talked about families and kids, careers, experiences at Flint Hill, people who couldn’t make it to the reunion and even a few who were no longer with us. At one point in the evening, Courtney Tolbert called the restaurant and said she was coming in via the Metro. Sue Adams drove all the way out to the Vienna station to pick her up and made it back for the last part of the evening. As the night wore on, we were all politely, but firmly asked to leave since we had stayed well beyond closing. Even though it was cold, windy and raining, the remaining stalwarts stayed a little longer to talk. Here’s a list of everyone who attended: Sue Adams ‘81, George Arrington (me), Chip Cobb ‘82, Donald Drake ‘82, Robert Edmonds ‘84, Maria Gutierrez ‘80, Tim Hughes ‘84, Dana Orvis ‘84, Kevin Langan ‘85, Matt Lucas ‘85, Chuck Pappas ‘81, Janet Parks ‘82, Steve Rugen ‘79 and his wife, Judy, Felicita Rucchio ‘80, Sherri Seeger (teacher), Tom Simmons ‘85, Kelli Talbert ‘84, Courtney Tolbert ‘81. I have gotten a little older, grayer and have put on some pounds in the intervening years. My students have also, but only just a little. I always tell people that my time at Flint Hill was as much a journey of discovery and learning for me as I hope it was for them. To have those few hours again with them was truly wonderful. I hope we can do it again sometime. The following is a public link to some photos from the event: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2075504&id=1091462835&l=4adb45d6b1 Attached Pictures and Captions: (L-R) Felicita Rucchio, Maria Gutierrez, George Arrington, Janet Parks (L-R) Robert Edmonds, Kelli Talbert, Sherri Seeger (L-R) Chip Cobb, George Arrington, Sue Adams, Don Drake (L-R) Kevin Langan, Tom Simmons (L-R) Robert Edmonds, Kelli Talbert, Tim Hughes (L-R) Steve and Judy Rugen (L-R) Chuck Pappas, Dana Orvis, Robert Edmonds After being “asked to leave” into the cold and windy rain: (L-R) Kelli Talbert, Chip Cobb, Chuck Pappas, Dana Orvis, Felicita Rucchio, Maria Gutierrez, Janet Parks, George Arrington, Sue Adams. Photographed taken by 1981 grad Courtney Tolbert.