Family Fling 2012

First Part
Second Part
Third Part
Forth Part

Play Recording

All students and their families are welcome to attend any portion of the Tuesday presentations that they like.  However, if you come, you must be watching the lectures.

Paper Presentations

2:00 - Kanan De Los Santos - Truth and Reconciliation: A Brief Inquiry Into the Nature of Sin, Forgiveness and Repentance
3:00 - Ryan Farrington -
Foreknowledge and Foreordination
4:00 - Kathleen Dowling - Punishment and Discipline

   All students and their families are welcome to attend any portion of the Tuesday presentations that they like.  However, if you come, you must be watching the lectures.

Paper Presentations

8:00 - John Elhardt - Eve's Wisdom
9:00 - Annabel Carroll - Gender Roles
10:00 -  Addison Hinrichs -
Reductio ad Absurdum
11:00 -  Ryan McDonald -
Reexamining Greatness
12:00 Lunch

1:00 - Rosalie Blacklock -
The Transcendence of Good and Evil
2:00 - Wesley Near - The Means to Believe
3:00 - Jenny Rulison -
Confident in Christ
4:00 - Nickolas Bruetsch - A Case for History: Why Studying History is Important

           5:30 Great Books Five Dinner

This dinner is only for the GBT V students. Attire is semi-formal.  Please bring one quote to read from your GBT reading that you thought particularly memorable.  Also, please bring one item to hold during our group picture that represents your particular interests outside of GBT.


       Wednesday - June 20th

Fling flying lessons with Mr. H.  Students who are able to show proficiency in flying on the simulator will have opportunity to fly with Mr. H using the buddy box.  Times- TBA.

8:30 Arrival time

9:00 - 11:00 Fling introduction

Paper Presentations

11:00 - 12:00 -  Jessie Schnoebelen - When There Is No Answer

            For GBT V papers, please click for Monday and Tuesday  or Wednesday through Saturday.  Please print out a copy to follow along during lectures.

12:00 - 2:00 Lunch- Potluck, Sports and Play Practice

Potluck- Please bring your own drinks, plates and utensils.  Please bring a main course and if your last initial begins with A-L please bring a salad or side dish and if M-Z, a dessert.  Please bring an amount proportionate to the number of mouths you bring with you.  All potlucks follow these same instructions.  Please note that the the BBQ will be available.

Sports- Please be sure to wear shoes that will be suited to some physical activity.  We will have volleyball, croquet, basketball, bocce, badminton and garden chess.

Play practice- If you sign up for Mrs. Helland's play, please be ready to spend time at lunch practicing for the performance.

Potluck buyout option. If you would not like to bring food for the potluck, simply include $20 for each of your family members coming to the fling and we will purchase hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, pizza, fruit, and green salad with the money.

Baking Contest- Here is an ETS opportunity for those with a culinary bent.  On Wednesday, after the potluck, esteemed judges will taste whatever is entered into the contest and will select the winning entry. 

  If you would like to enter, please bring your entry on Wednesday (which should be a dessert) into the Hinrichs’ kitchen when you arrive in the morning.  Label it clearly as an entry for the contest, so that it does not end up on the general potluck table accidentally.  Make sure to talk to  Mrs. Hinrichs and she will assign you a number for your dessert.  Absolute secrecy is vital!  No one should know what you have made until everything has been judged.   Do not put your name on this label and do not attempt to bribe the judges to choose your entry. Any attempts to sabotage competitors’ desserts will result in an afternoon or morning in the ETS stocks.  (Whoops—we don’t have any.  Don’t worry—we’ll think of an appropriate punishment.)

  If you would like to judge, please contact Mrs. Hinrichs at:


2:00 - 3:00 Singing Practice

3:00 - 5:00 Informal Debate

We will be having an introduction to debate and then holding our own group debate.  This year's topic will be: RESOLVED: "Creon's actions regarding the body of Polynices were wholly unjust and indicative of the tyrannical abuse of his office."  GBT 1 students will be presenting arguments- it would be wise to come with an outline of what you consider to be the best arguments and to write up the best arguments you made in your paper on 3x5 cards so that they can be quickly assembled into an opening speech. GBT III students will be acting as team coordinators and debate coaches.  GBT V students will play the part of jury and judge in our final debate. 

7:00- Dance Practice - you may dress semi-formally, if you wish, as long as your attire is in accordance with the dress code.

  Thursday - June 21st

Paper Presentations
Knowing our Place

8:30 Arrival Time

9:00 -  Christina Lambert -
Greatness in the Looking Glass
10:00 - Ashley Carr - The Paradox of Lordship and Bondage
11:00 - Chloe' Richardson -
The Beautiful Soul

12:00 - 2:00 Lunch- Potluck, Sports and Play Practice

Alumni Afternoon -
Alumni, please come and help us plan an ETS alumni gathering this Summer.

2:00 - 2:30 Reports from ETS Alumni on Various Colleges

2:30 - 3:00 Singing Practice

3:00 - 3:30  Contemplation of Gratitude

3:30 - 5:00 Septathalon - Please make sure to wear sport shoes!

7:00-10:00 Movie and Discussion -  Life is Beautiful 

Fling Chronicle
Rachelle King

Setting: Hermes enters before the throne of Zeus and several other gods on Mt. Olympus.  This famed messenger of the immortals, having taken the guise of a fifteen year old GBT student, now somewhat hesitatingly reassumes his immortal form.

Zeus:                Hermes, I hardly recognized you for a moment.  Well, let’s hear the report on your mission…

Hera:                You poor thing.  Having to bear such a disguise! Why you look as if you do nothing but have your head in a book all day!!  Well maybe just the slight pinkness from the occasional game of what do they call that again…ah, ultimate Frisbee?

Zeus:                Are you finished woman?  The world has hailed rosy-fingered dawn six times since we have last seen this here spawn of my seed.  Now answer me – were you or were you not able to infiltrate ..the Spring Fling?

Hermes:            (just now raising his eyes to meet those of his father) Yes, each day, every activity…from debates to interpretive dance, tearful vocalizations of Dona Nobis to warm, sugar dusted aebleskiver…

Athena:             (rolling her eyes) Hermes, such a description will not do.  Order your thoughts and start at the beginning.  The mortals mark the day as “Monday” I believe?

Aphrodite:        Can’t we just skip to the ball??  I wanna hear about the dresses!!!

Dionysus:         Forget the ball; let’s hear about the after party hosted by that Denny’s guy! When the milkshakes are a flowin…

Ares:                 All nonsense!  But Hermes, who claimed victory at the Septathalon?

Zeus:                Hush!  The migraines you children cause me match my thunderbolts in acuity. Hermes, begin your chronicle.


Hermes:            Monday afternoon witnessed three marvelous Great Books V paper presentations.  I slipped into the hall unnoticed, snatching a seat by a window.  Presenters read their papers (each essay representing a semester’s worth of toil and tribulation) and then answered questions from their classmates and Mr. Hinrichs, high lord of flingen activities.  Kanan de los Santos led with his paper :“Truth and Reconciliation: A Brief Inquiry into the Nature of Sin, Forgiveness and Repentance”.  Ryan Farrington gave suit with a treatise titled “Foreknowlege and Foreordination”.   Lastly, Kathleen Dowling presented her paper “Punishment and Discipline”…and I dare say…

Athena:             Speak the words which are clinging to your tongue, Hermes.

Hermes:             Mere words cannot describe these paper presentations.  Each morning of the Fling, I felt my mortal form being tugged away from the earth, but I was perturbed to see that it was not my winged shoes that lifted me.  The words of each presenter whisked me off into the intangible and I became utterly absorbed by the land of the mind.  But then all too suddenly Mr. Hinrichs concluded questioning and I had to content myself with the notion that more papers awaited with one chariot ride of Helios.  I attempted to slip out as invisibly as I had entered; however, I turned to find myself confronted by a very patient sibling of one of the presenters.  The toddler asked who I was, and I answered… Nobody.

Poseidon:          Not funny, Hermes.

Zeus:                We’ll have him plant an oar inland afterwards, brother.  Continue on Hermes.


Hermes:            The heavens blessed Tuesday with 8 of the delights of which Monday saw only 3.  Products of gifted pens hovered in the spring breezes, glorifying their God of Abraham and Isaac.  “Eve’s Wisdom”, the first paper of the day, was John Elhardt’s work. Annabel Carroll’s piece “Gender Roles” followed.  Next was Addison Hinrichs and his paper “Reductio Ad Absurdum”. With the Raddison brotherhood holding the floor, Ryan McDonald was next in line with his work “Re-examining Greatness”.  They broke for nourishment of the physical bodies and then Rosalie Blacklock led us back into the ethereal realm with her paper “The Transcendence of Good and Evil.”  Wesley Near next described “The Means to Believe”.  Following was Jenny Rulison’s “Confident in Christ”.  And concluding a marvelous day was “A Case for History: Why Studying History is Important”, read and defended by its author Nickolas Bruetsch.


                        While the hall resonated with contemplation of ideals, Great Books III students scurried about prepping a dinner for their beloved seniors.  White linens were laid. Bouquets arranged, ribbons tied.  Here you may see the menu designed by Miss Ashley Carlson. (hands a scroll to Zeus which reads as follows)



 Ginger peach iced tea

Baked brie in puff pastry with cherries and rosemary

Assorted cheeses

Handcrafted rosemary crackers




Mixed greens with fresh blueberries, feta, praline pecans, mint and balsamic vinaigrette


Main Course:

Burgundy pepper Tri-Tip

Sautéed vegetables from Hinrichs Farms

 Potatoes with pesto


Palate Cleanser:

 Blackberry sorbet



 Tiramisu and coffee


Mr. Prior led efforts in the kitchen and Kylee Henson arranged bouquets and prepped chocolate lettering of the Roman numeral “V” to place on the tiramisu, but there were no fewer than 20 students dressed in white and black, working tirelessly on the evening’s delights. 

Seniors took their class picture upon the rocks, each posing with items that represented a facet of their life/personality/loves:  from swim goggles to microscopes, long boards to Hogwarts scarves, sheet music to pictures of family adventures, drum sets to job name tags,  architecture manuals to Grimm’s fairytales, guitars to garden shears, glorious sketches to stuffed elephants, trophies to volleyballs, cameras to harps, ukuleles to clan scarves.  Dinner commenced and throughout the courses each student read a favorite Great Books quote and explained its personal significance to them.  A special speech was offered by Nickolas Bruetsch and sweet Jessie Schnoebelen gifted her classmates with “Oh, The Places You Will Go!” books and bracelets.  At one point the salt shaker traveled ‘round the table, symbolizing the years of taking salt together and the years to come.

After taking several turns about the property and the completion of the meal, the campfire blazed and friends gathered around Rosalie’s harp to sing Amazing Grace and reminisce about years gone by.





Hermes:            Attempting to find the best position to passively observe, I dodged embraces like waves crashing upon the shore.  Locals and onliners, meek yet ecstatic I’ers, III’ers eagerly discussing long awaited festivities, V’ers with pre-presentation jitters and yet projecting peaceful content – smiles upon all, as numerous as the jacaranda blooms carried by the breezes.   The populi with bagels and tea in one hand, the other hand over brow, bustled their way to the front of the hall, where Mr. H stood with Toberlone bar raised high.  I soon found that this ambrosial “GBT” nectar was not to be received but earned.  Quizzing of all 5 years of reading (as well as interludes into sports, chemistry and history) swirled about me.  Candy flew through the air, and if caught was soon ingested.  Frivolity was now met with the explaining of the fling rules and tour of the estate.  Discussion of walnut trees might have closed the tour the year previous, but this year all seated themselves on the grass for an airshow of magnificent proportions.  Wheeling themselves into a giant circle, some ten score students bulwarked their courage for the famed name game underneath Helios’ not so gentle rays.  One giant group picture on the steps and I was delighted to retreat to the sanctity of the hall and Jessie Schnoebelen’s paper “When There is No Answer” met my ears with much enthusiasm.  Potlucks of most exquisite fare ensued.  The contest of bakery delights crowned Miss Jenna Voss as victor with her scrumptious and oh so delicately decorated cupcakes.  Players ran off to practice lines, toting mirrors and various costume periphinelia. Choir gathered all back into the hall and telephone cords stretched its length, simulating sounds waves.  Then, Finale whisperer –Samuel Limon gave us our notes.  Angel’s We Have Heard on High, St. Matthew’s Passion Chorales 3 & 10, Dies Irae, Fairest Lord Jesus, Sicut Cervus, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, Jubilate Deo, and Vivaldi’s Gloria were but a few of the euphonious favorites which were broken into parts, repeated, and polished.  Chairs were rearranged and the next several hours witnessed the most heated Antigone and Creon debate ever seen in Escondido.  Empassioned III’ers coached the brave, enobled I’ers who took the podium for pro or con.  Fans roared in stand and shoot. Then all were silenced for the decision of the V’ers.  Proceedings lasted hours.  The crowds grew hungry and clamored for the abandon of the search of truth, preferring mere cookery, but the seniors forged on.  The vote was unanimous -  pro-side was victorious for the first time in many a year.  Creon's actions regarding the body of Polynices were [INDEED] wholly unjust and indicative of the tyrannical abuse of his office."  

Zeus:                Don’t get me started on that usurper Creon.  Eagles winging rotten pickings up to my throne, eh?  Pro-side had better won!

Aphrodite:        Father, father let not mere mortal squabbling perturb you!  Besides… I hear dancing ensued afterwards!!

Hermes:            Yes, Virginia reels, Patty Cake Polkas, Gay Gordons, Run the Rivers, Greek Circle dances   graced the front yard and the Potsie’s jig created quite the stir.  Swing and waltzes brought friends shoulder to shoulder in the hall, and then a myriad of voices filled the air once again and “God be with yous” were said all round.


Hermes:            Ambrosial chocolates once again flew through the air to the more alert minds of the group.  Three papers from thrice lovely ladies graced mine ears: Christina Lambert’s dramatic recitation of her work Greatness in the Looking Glass”, Ashley Carr’s insightful treatise The Paradox of Lordship and Bondage,” and Chloe' Richardson’s accented story The Beautiful Soul.  And…I am not ashamed to admit that each of these brought pure tears to mine eyes, welling up inside me with the forth of the Xanthus.

Potlucking, players running here and there, and sporadic ultimate frisbee and basketball games abounded.    Several GBT alumni, Autumn Swindoll, James Wesolek, Melissa Keller, Leah Lombardi, and James Anderson, offered their take-aways on their college experiences.  A contemplation of gratitude encaptured the hearts of all, impetus this year being a discussion of Samson and Delilah.

Ares:                 Far more exciting was the Septathalon however!

Hermes:            Haha and quite the selection of sports too…from basketball to badminton to volleyball to soccer to chess to bocce ball to Lego building to croquet to interpretive dance to flight simulator.

Athena:             Those amount to ten ‘sports’, not seven….psh readers. Well?

Hermes:            Genders were separated and gals, trembling with nervous giggling, asked young gentlemen to be their septathalon partners… warm sugar dusted aebleskivers calmed all jitters.  Unfortunately, able muscle ran out and before I could summon fawns from the woods, the remaining ladies boldly named themselves “The Furies” and proceeded to “cheer” on the competitors with such chants as "Come home with your shield or on it!", "Fight! Score! Win! Lest your body rot in the streets of Thebes!"

Hera:                Well said.

Hermes:            Competitors raced from sport to sport, the infamous bell announcing the beginning and end of a match.   When time was up, all stood in a circle and as points were announced, teams kneeled when their score was superseded, until only three teams remained.

Ares:                 Stop playing with us boy and tell us the victors!

Hermes:            Wesley Near and Kate Hinrichs reigned as champions with John Elhardt and Amy Pfaff, Daniel Pfaff and Ayla Carroll as runners up.  Trophies waived above heads, victors reigned triumphant, “Furies” collapsed with excitement.

Flingers then split for quick edibles at local eateries and promptly returned for a viewing of the Italian drama La Vita e Bella.  I sat on a collapsible chair sharing blankets and Oreos with my classmates…I mean the GBTers.  For the first hour, I followed a beautiful love story. Guido woos the damsel, marries her, they have a child together - all seems happily ever after, but I know that such bliss is temporal in this mortal world.  Nazis descend upon the Jewish family and seemingly rip them apart.  And yet, we see that evil has not the strength to tear the beautiful tapestry of the love which ties them together.  Guido continues weaving his love story – weaves a game to hide the horrors of the concentration camp from his young son.  All is not happily ever after, but I pondered: does not the dark give contrast and thus highlight the beauty of the light all the more?  Deep discussion of symbolism and themes ensued.  I do believe they would have talked the night away if oh so silent weariness had not crept into their young bones.  They departed and looked onto the day of the ball.



Hermes:            Camaraderie was at its height.  Wonder still pranced about on tired faces; all a twitter for the evening’s festivities.  We gathered in the hall for three more grand presentations: Alyssa Carr’s moving narrative “The Altar,” Cassie Atkinson’s exhortation “Placing Christ Back on the Throne,” and Anne Wesolek’s enlightening “The Extremity of Good”.

After an early respite, all once again returned to the compound for portraits taken by the most talented duo Anne Wesolek and her father. 

Aphrodite:        NO! NO! NO! Describe the dresses!

Hermes:            Haha forgive me Aphrodite.  Yes twirling taffetas, silky satins, twinkling toiles, locks curled and sleek, pinned or draped long – the young ladies were quite a sight to behold.  Young gentlemen in crisp collars, bodacious bowties, terrific ties, dos swept side, shoes shined – the evening bode magnificence.  Most wondrous of all was the excitement blooming on the lawn, friends tied so close by discussion of the ethereal that classy appearances had no effect upon conversation…almost no effect.  Equally striking in appearance, Mr. H and the Mrs. with Ben, Christian, Dante, Eloise, and Fiona on hip became the center of not so young looking students and their families, alumnis, and younger tots in tow.  Now was the time for the letter to the young gentlemen, read by Mr. H, ennobling the young men to display their utmost gentlemanly attributes, and the letter to the young ladies read by Mrs. H, requesting equal courtesy to possible dance partners.  When all was said and done, the circle collapsed in the hub-bub of formal askings – the Grand March was to begin.  The dignified promenade circumscribed the property, weaving and arching over and around friends.  Live music encouraged each to skip and kick up heels in whatever fashion manageable.  And oh how the evening whorled on by: the same dances as Tuesday saw, but now performed with an all or nothing gusto.  And although souls shall dance ever eternally in the presence of their Maker when the Last Day is nigh, while tied to earth, weariness is ever bound to ensue, and all days must have a night.  Anchor’s Away, the National Anthem and Amazing Grace concluded a most heavenly evening.

Zeus:                Not quite the parties we have here on Olympus though, my boy!

Hermes:            But there was something unique there….something I could not understand.  A feeling not to be expressed with mere rhetoric.

Dionysus:         But the night was not really over – tell us about the drinking of milkshakes!!  Did this bar-keep, Denny, expect such a crowd?

Hermes:            I cannot believe I forgot – Friday night really seems like two.  Yes, Denny’s was expecting us.  The after ball chattering, ukulele strumming, artsy photography, all too humorous expressions made the hour wait for a milkshake very much worth it, at least until the sugar crash sent all wheeling home.  None wished to acknowledge that tomorrow would be their last day of flinging, for some more permanent than others.



Hermes:            ‘Last day of fling’ feeling hung in the air, rooting in each student’s lungs, instilling each with the desire to breathe deeply of much of the day as possible.  Students fluttered about collecting “yearbook” signatures from their classmates on the back of their Wednesday group picture.  The last presenters took the podium.   Allison Hurd’s exhortation on “Life and Death”, Teal Speece’s narrative The Divine Drama”, and Abigail Johnson’s comedic and assuaging reminisce, The Journey” brought the morning to a close.

                        Limbs were then made active by means of sports, play dress rehearsal, or choir practice.  Sooner than not, the time for the music recital had arrived and all were once again gathered into the hall.  Mr. H’s choir group awed with most symphonic voices.  Harp, violin, ukulele, guitar, piano, larynx – instruments abounded and each participant brought a special delight, showing us that words were not the only means by which one could join the intangible realm.  Sibling duos and theatrical skits added immensely to the recital and hours flew by.  Students thanked Mrs. Helland, the theatrical director, who would not be present for the play that evening, and all scampered off for dinner.

                        The GBT Play written by Alyssa Carr, Ashley Carr, and Annabel Carroll as their first semester paper presentation was now given life.  Distinct, unique characters investigated an arsonist that burned down a community church.  Guided by Pascal quotes, they discovered more and more about their own natures as they dared to raise a mirror to their own image.  FLESYTH WONK – Know thyself spelled backwards - was indeed not the only sin-filled soul.  With genius acting and such an exciting and inspiring adventure as designed by the three young playwrights, a standing ovation was nothing but expected.  The girls then answered questions from the audience and Mr. Hinrichs, illuminating their thought processes for the production. 

                        The last installment of the evening was the GBT graduation ceremony which wrung saline from the eyes of all, as Mr. Hinrichs presented a handcrafted box, featuring Euclidean geometry upon the top, to each student with a heartfelt embrace.  Then, it was the students turn to present Mr. Hinrichs a gift – an engraved geometric design to decorate the hall, featuring a Great Books quote from each year that exemplified Mr. Hinrichs.  Designed after a grate admired by Mr. Hinrichs on an Italy trip, several fathers of students gave the design physical form.  Mr. Hinrichs said he planned to install the design into the floor of the hall to remind himself of the unique beauty that was this class of graduates.  All crowded into the hall for one last round of singing Dona Nobis and the Doxology, opening the mouths but closing the eyes of each student.  Make-up ran and Kleenex boxes traveled around the room but embraces from close friends reminded the tearful souls of the blessing that is feeling and emotion.

                        There is something special in the atmosphere at the fling.  It is not the words of lofty philosophers or lyrics sung by the choir, not just a culmination of a meager five-year pursuit of excellence, truth, well-roundedness.  It’s the heart of the students reaching after the divine; it’s the Holy Spirit weaving in and out through the week and blessing those, who realize how often they fail in blessing others; those who yearn to draw closer to their Maker; those who want to discuss Him, knowing they’ll never circumscribe Him; those who cry out to glorify Him in music and dance; those who decide to love life for all its goodness because it comes from Him.  Mr. and Mrs. Hinrichs are the Artist’s chisels for sculpting this earthly paradise and witnessing their love for the Lord, for their students, and for each other is worth wearing any silly, mortal disguise, Hera.