ETS Fling 2014


Thank you photographers- Hannah Lamber and Alex Gault!



Youtube videos
Prior play
Hinrichs play
Campbell play

Fling Chronicle
by David Voytek

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014


            A fresh breeze and the rising sun greeted the morning of June 17th as the GBT V Students gathered together to present their final paper presentations. Christian Johnson led us through the maze of philosophy from the certainty of Spinoza to the doubt of Descartes and back to philosophy understood in its relationship to God. In the marvel of a story, Jared Curry taught us the five false types of Courage personified by five men who faced a powerful dragon and were defeated only to have true Courage slay the dragon.

            In between these delightful presentations, we enjoyed a wonderful time talking with each other and catching up with life and all the history that tells the tale of each of our lives. As the poet once said, "Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other is gold," so too the time of delightful conversations and practical jokes brought us to rejoice in each other's company.

            To brings us back to philosophical discussion, Eric Voss compared and contrasted the gods of Homer and the play-wrights to the LORD God of the Bible and how Zeus and Aphrodite failed to match the power and might of Yahweh, while stallions became the predominant species in the classroom. From the loftiness of deities to the dignity of mankind, Annalyse Ortega painted a vision of Isonomy which means to treat each person with respect and humility since they are moral creatures, even sharing the dignity of animals and plants, and, yes, that includes the obnoxious, neighborhood dog. And to close for the afternoon, Michael Greeninger revealed the nature of hypocrisy in the lives of many literary figures of GBT from the gilded lead cloaks in Dante's Inferno and the pompous monk of Chaucer to the absolute ruler of Machiavelli and snuff box of Widow Douglas.

            "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity." (Psalm 133) I have to say that this verse is a summation of the time that was spent in the highlight of the day, the GBT V Dinner. From conversing over cheese and crackers to posing in front of a Model A, it was a time of great reflection upon the years that we, the GBT V class, studied these Great Books together. Once again, the Priors went above and beyond expectation in their preparations for the dinner, from juicy steaks and feta cheese salad to sautéed vegetables and, need I not forget, the delicious, crunchy macaroni and cheese. In addition, the helpers and servers performed to the best of their abilities to provide an environment of carefulness and beauty for an ancient Roman banquet. Finally, what better way to close off the evening than with a rousing time of joyful singing, featuring music from Disney, The Sound of Music, Wicked, and Les Miserables. But "the music never stopped" when we came to Billy Joel's The Piano Man, where "we are all in the mood for a melody, and you've got us feelin' all right!" May our days in this life and the next be one where the music never stops and our praise and adoration of the Grand Composer, God Himself, will never cease throughout all eternity.



Wednesday, June 18th, 2014


            To begin the official portion of this year's Fling, the day followed with a smooth start to what appeared to be a hectic and fun week. As usual, Mr. H laid down the house rules in order to make sure that the Fling and other ETS events can continue on for decades to come. Each of the parents pulled through to keep everyone busy in their Fling jobs and in watching the younger siblings, and we are all extremely grateful for their service. After posing for a group picture, we journeyed to the lawn for the infamous Name Game. Not a problem, right? Well, when you have got ninety-two current students present for the game as well as multiple names such as five Hannahs and four Joshuas, one would think otherwise. But we all learned about each other and further grew closer in the small community of ETS. Finally, to finish off the morning, Christine Perry shared with us the nature of a good story and how stories can be useful in teaching us moral truths that then apply to our day to day lives. And need I not forget David MacDonald's 18th birthday which was celebrated today with all the pomp and circumstance.

            The afternoon of June 18th, by far, turned out to be quite competitive for the debate on whether "Creon's actions regarding the body of Polynices were wholly unjust and indicative of the tyrannical abuse of his office." After a much heated debate between the pro and con side, presenting constructive arguments or shooting from the hip, the GBT V students deliberated as the judge and jury to decide which side argued the best case. While it was the longest deliberation on record, the vote ended unanimously with victory for the pro side. In addition, many biased notes were written such as "I Love Antigone," or "I think Creon is a handsome man," much to the annoyance and humor of everyone present.

            After a delightful dinner, we all gathered around the lawn for our dance practice in preparation for the ball on Friday. We began with line dances such as the Virginia Reel and the St. Andrew's Cross to further dance in circles with the Patty-Cake Polka, the Gay Gordon, and the "Manhole Cover" Circle Dance. To set the mood for slow music, we waltzed the night away with the Spanish Waltz and the Viennese Waltz to then liven our steps with Swing dancing. In the midst of the excitement, we could have not done all these dances without the help of the band in keeping us on time. Last, we ended the day with singing and prayer to give thanks to the Lord for providing us with a lovely day together.



Thursday, July 19th, 2014


            After a long day of rule setting on Wednesday, one could tell that everyone began to loosen up and have great fun. The theme of today's papers focused on the brokenness of the soul and its restoration to God. David MacDonald presented an excellent description of the restless soul in its search for God while stubbornly refusing to believe in Him. As the soul searches for restoration, it must use both reason and faith to acknowledge God's existence and promises as presented by Christian Corse. Not only is the soul restless without God, but it is totally depraved and has no hope of ever reconciling to God except through Jesus Christ as put forth by Samuel Limon. Free Will and Predestination appeared to be an overarching premise throughout the discussions, yet they were in a spirit of meekness and love with an emphasis to clearly understand each side.

            As usual, the potluck and break pasted by without a moment's notice with the delight of food and conversations. In the afternoon, many GBT alumni returned to present their stories and the colleges and careers that they pursued from engineering and aviation to missionaries and English teachers. The highlight for the day was by far the Septathlon (technically, a Nonathlon) with all the events that encompass it: croquet, bocce, chess, badminton, volleyball, Lego building, ping-pong, basketball, and interpretive dance. While few people received a total negative score, the record for achieving the highest score of 83 went to Rachelle King and David MacDonald, and their prize consisted of a silver basin with the word "Classic" on it.

            To wrap up the evening, we all sat down to watch a movie about the White Rose Resistance in Nazi Germany called Sophie Scholl: The Final Days. The plot primarily focused on the title character, Sophie Scholl, and her side of the story, as the group resolved to fight with words against the tyrannical abuse of Hitler and the Nazi Party upon Germany and the German people. In the midst of anticipation for the trial and execution, Sophie drew comfort from her fellowship with God and believing that her cause was right. Even in the darkness of the prison, she constantly keep her gaze on the sun as if to say, "Our day will come, and the sun will still shine across Germany." Thus, even if our country were to abolish Christianity, freedom of speech, etc., we can still look forward to a brighter day when the temporal sun will no longer shine, but the glory of God and the Lamb will be that eternal sun.



Friday, June 20th, 2014


            The sun shone bright on the third morning of the Fling as all the participants gathered for another round of Q&A outside the hall. Sorry, no Toblerones this year, but the Snickers were nice. The theme for the paper presentations today centered around the purpose of debate and discussion for the philosopher and for the Christian. Ayla Carroll presented an overview of the History of Science and Mathematics, showing how, overtime, a rift was formed between science and Christianity where, in the minds of today's scientists, the realm of science should not intersect with religion or philosophy. In consideration of the growing rift, Rachelle King revealed a story as to what happens when "scientism" or the worship of the senses and the mind reflects the philosophy of David Hume who concluded that everything is an impression of the senses. Finally, to bring us out of the cave into the light of the sun, Evangeline Prior showed us a more excellent way by loving the other person with whom you are either debating or discussing, for controversy should encourage us to strive for truth, yet to do so in love is the excellent way.

            The afternoon of the Day Three consisted of play practicing, rehearsing, and preparations for the ball in the evening. By far, the attendance at the ball for this year was the largest ever, with most of the families hailing from Temecula, Murrieta, and San Diego County, as well as a small number of out of towners from either LA, NorCal, Texas, and Canada. Each family brought their own pizzazz to this evening of group pictures, selfies, and the occasional photo-bombing. Many thanks to the Hinrichs band for providing the music for the evening which kept us on beat for each dance. Beginning with the Grand March, we proceeded to participate in every single dance we had practiced two nights before, and many thanks and adieu to Mr. Prior for sharing his piano skills for swing dancing these past five years. To finish the official day, we sang to our hearts' content many wonderful songs thanking God our heavenly Father for such an amazing time together. Do not forget the Denny's after-party! (There may have been more after-parties, but not to the knowledge of this chronicler.)



Saturday, June 21st, 2014


            At last, the final day has come and many of us are exhausted from the night before. Nevertheless, we all showed up bright and early to celebrate the final day of the 2014 Fling. To conclude the presentations for this year, the day's theme was centered on personal goals and motivations for the Christian. Ashley Carlson began the morning with an exploration of leadership and how a true leader ought to be guided by virtue instead of pragmatic circumstances. In a day where many Americans pursue happiness in lust, power, and revenge, Corinne Malan reminded us of the true source of happiness which is found in God, and that only through Christ's reconciliation and looking forward to eternal bliss in heaven can man succeed in the pursuit of happiness. In exploring the comforts of Greeks and philosophers, David Voytek closed with a reminder of the true source of comfort found in Jesus Christ which gives us strength to be patient in the worst of times and thankful in the best of times.

            After much hard work and preparation, the ETS Choir presented their showcase for the semester which included selections from Handel's Messiah, Palestrina's Sicut Cervus, O Magnum Mysterium, and Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring. Hearing the harmony of the sopranos and altos with the inclusion of the tenors and basses was certainly a joyful experience encouraging one to contemplate the joys of heaven. The following recital began without a hindrance, featuring the Bare sisters and their interpretive duo of The Hiding Place, the Perry sisters and their rendition of Jon Schmidt's Waterfall, the Scrivners and their singing, as well as the comical parody called The Ver's Leave Today. As the recital moved from solo performances to group settings, we were reminded of the comical and sometimes satirical nature of GBT as Evangeline Prior sang Charlie Brown's My New Philosophy. To close the program, David Voytek and his string quartet presented the intensity of Vivaldi's Summer Concerto and the rousing call of Hans Zimmer's A Pirate's Medley.

            Our final event for the evening was the debut of the annual Fling Play Contest, this year's theme revolving around The Decalogue or the Ten Commandments and how they can apply to today's society or culture. The contest consisted of five plays ranging from the hilarious nature of Ben Hinrichs' A True Story: Most of It to the seriousness of Rachelle King's Throw Your Tickets on the Ground... But the winner of this year's play contest was Evangeline Prior and her play Idolaters Anonymous, featuring unforgettable characters such as Don Quixote and Antigone. As the evening came to a close, an eighth year of GBT V graduations took place as the class of 2014 were presented their gift boxes carved with a geometric pattern to remind them of the order and beauty of our God. In response, the class of 2014 presented an array of gifts to Mr. Hinrichs from a wizard's hat to two lampposts, but the best one of all was the GBT Anthem which reminded us that "Though the future lies unknown, the truth we still pursue." Many thanks to Mr. Fritz Hinrichs and his family for an amazing five years and for putting together an awesome Fling in 2014. May God bless you all and keep you! May the Lord cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you! May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom! "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!"