ETS Fling 2008


For complete pictures, click on the days below.

Tuesday GBT V Papers   -   Wednesday through Friday GBT V Papers

For a narrative of all five days, please see below for Kathleen Dowling's account. For a slide show of the pictures, please see Ashley Atkinson's at



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The GBT V Dinner, Tuesday, June 17

The GBT dinner was quite the affair! After a long day of paper presentations, the Great Books Fivers were treated to a four course dinner! It started off with appetizers of Moroccan mint iced tea served with pastry-wrapped brie with raspberry sauce and grapes. Yum! The servers wore white shirts and black pants. They looked very sharp! When the GBT Five students finally realized their stomachs were rumbling, they filed into the hall and sat down at a large table set up. Servers walked in with next course; Baby greens with sliced strawberries, mint, sugared almonds, feta and raspberry dressing (Also known as salad.) While the students enjoyed their salad, while talking about past GBT experiences, the servers where busy in the kitchen with the next course: Grilled salmon with lemon and garlic served with carrots carbonara and herbed orzo pasta. Mrs. Hinrichs and Mrs. Kuznitz worked outside on the grill with the salmon, while other servers worked inside with the Orzo pasta and carrots. All too soon the servers rushed outside to take the dirty plates off the table and replace them with tiny bowls of Blackberry sorbet, made by Brighten De La Santos. While the students were eating their sorbet, they talked about funny experiences they had had. Soon enough the servers were clearing the table and Mr. Hinrichs was taking them on a walk around the neighborhood. On their return fifteen minutes later, they were served Café Gelatin. As their evening drew to a close, the students gathered around Mr. Hinrichs small fire pit and talked. This would be one of the last times all of GBT fivers would be all together.

A special thanks to Amanda Johnson, GraceMarie Lambert, Hannah Foster, Holly Harris, Shannon Harris, Ashley Carr, Alyssa Carr, Matt Nunez, Brighton de los Santos, Morgan Cole and Meghan O’Brien for your help in the kitchen and for the great job at serving.


Wednesday, June 18

As the people arrived, laughter and hugs filled the air. Two girls could not resist squealing as they recognized the others face from a webcam in previous year of class. They simply had to run across the lawn, hug, and then lock arms and walk away giggling. The register table was crowded with mothers and students trying to get their play tickets and meal cards. Soon Mr. Hinrichs called everyone to attention, and they gathered on the steps of the hall for a group picture…only to find out he only wanted to explain the rules and guidelines to them. The picture was taken anyway when everyone groaned at the thought of having to crowd up on the steps a second time. When all was done, Mr. Hinrichs had them all gather around him to hear the schedule and rules. When everything was all said and done, he led them on a tour of his property. Thirty minutes later, the students sat down in a circle of chairs on the lawn. Like every fling, it is tradition to play a name game before the main activities start. It starts with one person, and they have to say their name, then the person after them had to say their name and the person before them. Then it carries on until the very last person (Ryan McDonald) has to say everyone’s name. Lots of giggles where heard when names were mistaken, or better yet people were renamed to things like Billy Bob. When the name game was over, the students crowded into the hall to listen to the flings first paper presentation. Amanda Shadrick presented her paper on Music, a wonderful opening paper. An hour later, with stomachs growling, the students started filing out of the hall, only for Mr. Hinrichs to announce that Greek was required for lunch. Meal cards were pulled out of backpacks and pockets, and groans of “How can I read this?” and “Does anyone know Greek?” could be heard all over the patio area. But, some of those handy Greek students taught the rest of the GBTers what the words where and how they sounded. Needless to say, not one student went hungry for lack of knowing their Greek, although some still say “It’s all Greek to me!” After a delicious potluck meal, and a two hour break in which Ultimate Frisbee was played in the lower field, the students once again crowded into the hall for singing practice. The old favorites like Jubilate Deo, Dies Irae, and Lo, How a Rose were sung. When that was finished, Mr. Hinrichs announced that there would be a debate. The Topic was; RESOLVED: “Creon’s actions regarding the body of Polynices were wholly unjust and indicative of tyrannical abuse of his office.” The students split into two groups, and battled with logic for two hours. When finally the GBT five judges were called to make a decision, the students held their breath. The first vote was ten Con votes, and seven Pro Votes. The judges talked about it again, and voted a second time, the result was 9 pro votes and 8 con votes. It ended with 10 pro votes and 8 con votes, and none too soon because none of the students could leave for dinner until the vote was decided. Then everyone left for dinner.

At 7:00 everyone came back for dance practice! The students had fun dancing with friends, and learning dances. The country dances were done out on the lawn, and ball room dances were held in the Hall. Everyone had a lot of fun! When everyone was tired, and every dance had been danced, the students gathered back into the hall for singing. They sang the songs they had practiced that afternoon, and for the last few, they moved outside. The evening drew to an end with everyone singing the Doxology with the moonlight shining on their faces.


Thursday, June 19

As people arrived, wiping the sleep from their eyes, they were drawn to attention as Mr. Hinrichs called out a question and waved around a bag of jelly beans. Another fling tradition is to answer questions about the Great Books from previous years before the morning activities start. The prizes were bags of sour jelly beans, and gift certificates to The Golden Spoon ice cream shop. At 9:00 in the morning, it was already over 95F! Everyone found a seat in the hall for more paper presentations. The students listened to papers on The Knowledge of God all morning.  First Audrey Uhland talked about murder, and explained the difference in Agamemnon killing his daughter, and Abraham almost killing his son. After a half hour of reading, Audrey stood for cross examination by Mr. Hinrichs and her fellow students. A half hour later, Mr. Hinrichs had us do our singing lesson for ten minutes before listening to the next speech, by Michael Taylor. He kept everyone’s attention with his paper on Reason and God. He explained that you cannot always figure out God with reason. An hour later the students broke for Greek. Meal cards, slightly more crumpled since the day before, were fished out of backpacks and pockets. Everyone said the new phrases required for eating lunch, and sat down hoping they would remember the right pronunciation. Evelyn Blacklock stood up to give her speech. She brought new thoughts to the listening students minds as she spoke on The Rationality of Theistic Proofs. With their minds filled up to the top with information and hour later, the students broke for lunch. Again, like the day before, no student went hungry for lack of knowing Greek. The students gathered in the shade of the big tree by the rocks and talked as they are. Everyone crowded around the water table to snatch what ice was left in the ice cooler. All the students were very hot! After their tasty and refreshing meal, and some free time, the students went back into the hall to learn a bit about Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a play that most of them were going to go see that night at the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park. Autumn Hinrichs broke down the story with her helpful ‘actors’ who help up signs and small scripts to represent the character they were assigned. When that was finished, the students gathered into four groups of Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, and Bases for singing practice. They practiced the same songs as the day before, but they focused more on the second half of the music. When just about every major song that needed practicing was sung, the students found their seats again and listened to some students read acts from Hamlet. A very dramatic ending resulted where all the main characters lay dead on the floor. All the students agreed that that was the best readers’ theater yet. After two and a half long hours of sitting in the heat and listening to Hamlet be read, the students were happy to be able to get out of the hall. Some went home but those who bought tickets went with Mr. Hinrichs to the Old Globe Theater to see Romeo and Juliet. What a fun day!

Friday, June 20

Friday morning started out with the early morning questions and prizes. Again the prize was jelly beans and gift certificates to Golden Spoon. Already the sun was blazing in front of the Hall. The students crowded into the hall and out of the heat (or the sun at least) for more paper presentations. Fridays paper subject was on The City of Man. Sydney Roe started the morning off by giving her paper; An Exhortation to Christian leaders. She talked about the dangers and sins Christian leaders need to be prepared to face. When everyone was finished questioning her about her paper, Mr. Hinrichs had the students get up and sing for ten minutes. The next paper was titled To Rule Rightly: The Roles of Power, Virtue and Respect in Effective leadership, given by William Craddick. By that time the sun was really blazing and everyone was quite hot. Will did a good job of keeping everyone’s attention, and after a cross examination, Mr. Hinrichs had the students practice their Greek phrases again.  The last paper of the day was given by Nicole LaSalle on The Role of Morality in Leadership. It was a great closing speech for Fridays subject of The City of Man. The final hour flew by and soon the students were standing in the lunch line again with their Greek cards in one hand and plates in the other. Friday afternoon was free for everyone since the ball was that night, so most of the students went immediately home to rest a bit and get into their formal attire. At 4:00 Mr. Hinrichs started taking student and family portraits. At 7:00 dancing started! All the beautiful ladies were in their gorgeous dresses, and the gentlemen, were in their suits looking very sharp. They danced the dances they had practiced on Wednesday night, and everyone had a great time. There was a refreshment table on the patio by the Hinrichs house. After a fun evening of dancing, the students gathered into the hall to close the night with singing. The night sky was filled with the sweet sound of music.

Saturday, June 21

Saturday was a sad day for most people. It marked a day of change, a day of sadness, and a day of pre-post-fling-depression. Yes, Saturday was the last day of the fling, and with the last day of the fling, came the last day of paper presentations. Leah Lombardi started off the morning by giving her paper; Independence Day. Like the papers the day before, it was about leadership in America. The Hall was packed as all the parents who hadn’t watched the earlier papers, crowded around the side windows to listen to the final speeches. When Leah finished her speech, Michael Taylor and Beth Cook led the students in singing, while Mr. Hinrichs left to go do something. They sang Jubilate Deo without separating into the four groups of sopranos, altos, tenors, and bases. When the song was finished, Eric Dowling stood up to give his speech on Humility; The Gateway to Virtue. He kept everyone interested and giggling with lines like; “I doubt Jesus walked around saying What would Jesus do?” When his presentation was done, Mr. Hinrichs led the students in Greek Phrases. By that time most of the students had memorized almost all of the phrases. The very last paper was A Greater Love: No One But This, given by Adria Hinrichs. This was a great closing paper. Even through 4 days of papers, all the students listened intently. When Adria had finished giving her paper, and all the students had asked their questions, the students broke for the last lunch of the fling. Again, they gathered in line with Greek cards in hand, and those who still needed to memorize their phrases did it as quickly as possible; repeating each phrase one hundred times. The students gathered around the lawn to eat their lunch, and a few parties went to the Golden Spoon to use their gift certificates. At the end of break, the students gathered into the hall one last time to listen to the music recital. Everyone sat back, and enjoyed the music for two hours, happy to be able to give their minds a rest. There was a total of 7 instruments played, from the Violin to the Hammered Dulcimer. All to soon the last song was played, and the students left the hall for a three hour dinner break. The students split into groups; some going to the In-And-Out restaurant, some going to Denny's, and some just eating out with their family. At 7:00 everyone returned for the play: Hamlette: A Scrambled Tragical Historical Pastoral Comedy. Mrs. Hellands fine crew of actors from the previous year’s drama class did a wonderful job. It was a comedy based off of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, explaining what happened after Hamlet had died in Horatio’s arms, and Rosencrantz became ruler of Denmark. When the play ended, Mr. Hinrichs had all the GBT V students stand up on the front steps of the hall, and receive their gift; a small wooden medallion, with the inscription Truth Justice Love mercy. He explained the true meaning of these words, and how they could be applied to the previous five years of Great Books. The students awarded him with a scrap book with pictures of previous fling activities, that the students had all enjoyed. For one last time, the students gathered in the Hall to sing again. They sang almost every song, in the song book. The evening ended with Mr. Hinrichs praying for all the students. The students gathered around the patio to say their goodbyes and give hugs to all the friends they had been able to hang out with throughout the previous week. Pictures were signed, and final pictures with friends were taken, before all the students went home, looking forward to their bed and a chance to sleep in the next morning, but sad that the fling was over. The week had flown past, and every student would miss it dearly.

Kathleen Dowling