Dear Mom

By: Alexa Baer

Dear Mom,

Neil was nice to me twice today. The Rangers and the Dodgers won. We also had Mac and Cheese for dinner. It was a great day.

So this week we volunteered at the boys and girls club in Burlington and there’s this boy named Joe. He is literally so adorable Mom and I want to go back every day just to play with him.

We also helped build a house the other day with Habitat for Humanity. I enjoyed when they let me paint. I was with the crew that was working on the roof in the beginning. Don’t worry though, I never actually went up on the roof. People from Elon also came to film and interview us for a Gap video that they’re posting on the Elon website. They didn’t interview everyone but they interviewed me so keep a look out for me on the website!

Today I was fasting for Yom Kippur and we went and got milkshakes for lunch. I really wanted to break my fast and get a milkshake but I didn’t. This year celebrating the Jewish holidays was hard. It was also the first year in five years that we didn’t attend Kol Nidre together.

I just got off the phone with you and Dad and I cannot wait to come home and see you guys. I’ve missed y’all so much. We met Evan’s dog today and it made me miss Tron even more.

I’m glad Gramps is doing better; tell him and Grandma I love them. Also if you could let Nana know I’m alive that’d be great.

I don’t know when this blog post will go up but I just want you guys to know no matter what I love you and I’m having fun!




A Week in Alamance County

By: Tommy Nelson

We spent this week in the surrounding area of Elon in North Carolina.  We were given the opportunity to work with many different organizations.  It was really interesting be able to learn about the community that we are going to be spending the next four years of our lives.  One of the places we spent time at this week was the Boys and Girls Club.  There we were given the opportunity to work with varying ages of children.  It reminded me about the time I spent working at a summer camp this past summer.  The kids were instantly excited to see us there and even pulled us in by hand to play with them. I immediately made a connection with one specific boy named Ben.  Ben seemed to struggle socially and with arguing.  He usually was playing alone or individually with a volunteer.  When playing four square he would argue every play that didn’t go his way.  I was able to get through to him with his arguing and was able to get him to listen.  I really look forward to return in January so I can learn more about Ben and more of the children.

Top 10 Movies Watched on Gap

By: Emerson Loria

How the list was made: I asked everyone in the Gap program what were their 3 favorite movies that they watched during the program, regardless if they had seen it previously.  I kept track of how many times each movie was listed out of everyone and I also took note on how strongly each person felt towards each movie.  That way 1 movie that one person really loved will outweigh 1 movie one person kind of liked.  If a tie occurred, (there were 8 movies fighting for the last 3 spots)  I would put the movie with the highest IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes rating since I felt the experts should be consulted for that situation… ENJOY!

10. Saving Private Ryan: With a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, Saving Private Ryan was only able to snag the very last spot on the list.  Although only nominated by one person, their enthusiasm for this movie was able to get it in the running.  This war film is not only a timeless classic, but a fantastic movie that is sure to be enjoyed by almost anyone.

9. Goodfellas: This movie is actually on the top of my list of movies I want to eventually see; perhaps this is why it is only number 9. This is a movie that multiple people have said to me is “an awesome movie and awesome acting,” this Italian mobster movie is certainly a must see for myself and should be a must see for you as well.

8. Godfather Part II: One of my personal all time favorites, and is the 3rd greatest movie ever according to IMDB, is the incredible story of The Godfather part 2.  Although very long, and subtitles are a must, (unless you can speak Italian) this movie tells a wonderful story about the strongest and most influential family in the mafia, and how crazy things can get in the mafia.

7. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Trust me when I say that the seventh Harry Potter being number 7 is simply a coincidence, it wasn’t something I did intentionally.  Before the gap program I had never seen or read a single Harry Potter, so when the movie industry blew up within the group and made it a top series for me to watch.  Although I have only finished the first 4, I have already greatly enjoyed the series and expect nothing but incredible from the finale.  Although not mentioned by many, this movie is loved by just about everyone here and one even said “this movie has the greatest finale ever by TV show or movie.”  Pretty bold statement but I wouldn’t be surprised if I say the exact same thing when I finally watch it.

6. Miracle: At the beginning of Gap many wanted to hear what everyone’s favorite movies were.  Without hesitation, Neil said Miracle, not everyone had seen this sports classic so it didn’t take long for Neil to show the others his all time favorite movie.  After the movie, almost everyone who saw it really enjoyed it, and is the biggest reason why its number 6 on the list.  Neil was able to grow the fan base and with that, the people mentioned this great movie enough to give it a solid spot on the list.

5. The Green Mile: Early in our travel week we bought some cheap movies at Wal-Mart to watch during our long drives, one of which was The Green Mile.  The next night almost all of us gathered around the TV that we had at the church we were sleeping at and watched it.  Just about everyone really enjoyed it, and with a phenomenal story many of us cried at the end (including Alexa who only saw the last 15 minutes).  This is one of those movies that will put a smile on your face but bring tears shortly after, a classic, and a movie I personally recommend to all.

4. Django Unchained: Anyone who is big into movies should have no shock seeing a Quentin Tarantino movie on this list.  Django is a magnificent movie about a slave who is freed and then kills criminals for money.  It is certainly on the gory side of movies, but nonetheless this movie is a wonderful story, a fantastic cast, and some very well done acting.

3. Seven: Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, you already have a good movie right there, but a mind blowing story with an absolutely fantastic ending will give you the title of classic and legendary.  Seven is about two detectives who try to catch a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins to justify their actions.  Just the plot alone is fascinating, but this movie still manages to be even better than it sounds, and it is no wonder that it was on so many people’s list.

2. Fight Club: I know I just said that Seven was mind blowing, and it is, but Fight Club blows Seven out of the waters in terms of mind blowing. This movie has recently become one of my all time favorites simply because of how much it made me rethink our world.  This movie makes you reconsider you views on movies in general, our country, our world, and your life, a movie that can do all that clearly deserves some recognition.  To prevent spoilers all I will say is that this movie is about much more than a fight club, but according to fight club I’m already breaking the first rule… and the second.

Honorable mentions: sorry, these movies are fantastic and deserve this mention but were cut simply from lower ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes since many movies were tied for the last 3 spots on the list.

Saving Private Ryan, Frozen, X-men: Apocalypse, everybody wants some, The Notebook, When Harry met Sally

And in first place….American History X: This movie was tied with the most amount of times being on a list, but what set this movie apart was the fact that everyone who mentioned it was very enthusiastic about it.  This movie has some fans that truly appreciate it and know how to express their love for it, which is exactly why it takes the number 1 spot on this list.  Neo Nazis with a great story has been proven to be a recipe for greatness, and a recipe that everyone should try because this dish is something you very rarely

Top 10 Worst Moments

By: Sammy Johnson

  1. The time the toilets wouldn’t flush for three days.
  2. The time I thought the shower only had cold water and showered for a week like that.
  3. The time I built a raft in the rain.
  4. The time the soda exploded in my backpack.
  5. The time I burnt dinner for everyone.
  6. The time I hiked nine miles, summited two peaks, and crossed a river in one day.
  7. The time I thought the tent pole fell.
  8. The time I got evac’d.
  9. The time a kid punched my back.
  10. The time I fell off the top bunk in my sleep.

Best to Worst List of Places to Hang Out During Service-Learning

By: Juliana Siler

  1. Loaf and Jug-Lander, WY: AKA The Chug and Lug. Even though this was not technically a part of Service Learning, it was by far one of the most enjoyable places to go to, especially because it was right after we got out of the woods. Also, I could never remember the name of it, so I called it either the Chug and Lug or the Pug and Tug, you know, whatever works.
  2. Keya Cafe-Cheyenne River Reservation, SD: This was up there because not only was it cheap, it was right next door, and it supported the Rez.
  3. Lucy Lou’s-Mullens, WV: A rather expensive place to eat, but they had the best wifi in the entire town, and they had a nice waitress to talk to.
  4. City Diner, St. Louis, MO: Chey and I went here to write a paper one morning, we ended up not having time to write any of our paper, but we had the best breakfast food in all of St. Louis.
  5. Taco John’s-Cheyenne River Reservation, SD: It’s basically the equivalent of TacoBell, but it doesn’t make you sick. One of only two fast food establishments on the Rez, it was especially cool cause our friend Kobe works there, and he also goes to the CRYP to play basketball.
  6. 7/11- St. Louis, MO: Also in St. Louis, only a couple blocks away from our house, it was the best place to buy overpriced snacks and slurpees.
  7. The Wifi Room in the MOC-Mullens, WV: The wifi room in the MOC was a very nice place to hang out, however it was typically overcrowded by Gappers and the wifi went out a lot.
  8. City Park- Burlington, NC: We can’t technically walk there from where we’re staying, but they put in a new playground near the aquatic center which is quite lovely.
  9. The gym of the MOC-Mullens, WV: Technically our eating area, very few places that were clean enough to sit, not the nicest place to hang out.
  10. Mr Nice Guys- St. Louis, MO: Chey and I thought it was a gas station where she could get Tommy a birthday present, it was definitely not a gas station. Also not a good part of town. Also a very long walk. Not a good place to chill. Do not go to Mr. Nice Guys.


Gap Questionnaire

By: Brendan Gallagher

Favorite song: 

Jules: I don’t know (too many good songs)

Noah: Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Alexa: Black Magic by little mix

Emerson: Forever by Drake

Cheyenne: Home by Edward sharp and the magnetic zeros

Tommy: lemme freak by Lil Dicky

Sammy: Shine by years and years

Mary: Under the bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Angelo: Got it like that by Pell/ G-Eazy

Nate: Lucky be a lady by Sinatra 

Laura: Southern Sun by Boy and Bear

Neil: anything Zac Brown Band

B (me): Ps and Qs by Lil Uzi Vert


Favorite movie/book:  

Nate: movie: Good Will Hunting

Jules: anything with Sylvester Stallone 

Noah: movie: Singing in the Rain 

book: The Desperado who stole baseball 

Alexa: book(s): Percy Jackson Series and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Cheyenne: movie: The Sandlot

Tommy: movie: Shawshank Redemption

Angelo: movie: Shawshank Redemption 

book: The tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell

Sammy: movie: Crimson Peak

Emerson: movie: Fight Club

Mary: movie:Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Laura: movie: Almost Famous

Neil: movie: Miracle 

B (Me): The Usual Suspects


Two favorite hobbies:  

Nate: writing & soccer

Jules: sleep & reading

Noah: exercising & watching movies 

Alexa: reading and sports

Cheyenne: crossfit & rec sports

Angelo: duck hunting & wake boarding 

Tommy: snowboarding and Spikeball 

Sammy: reading & watching movies

Emerson: listening to music & playing sports 

Mary: gymnastics & painting

Laura: music and art

Neil: playing golf and playing hockey 

B (Me): Spikeball and ping pong


Favorite dessert:

Nate: a good carrot cake

Jules: brownies

Noah: special K with super calcium skim deluxe (the kind you get at food lion)

Neil: brownies

Alexa: ice cream

Emerson: brownie sundae

Cheyenne: strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (homemade of course)

Tommy: mint chocolate chip ice cream

Sammy: strawberry cake

Mary: deep fried oreos

Laura: chocolate cake

Angelo: ice cream sunday 

B (Me): cheesecake


Favorite part about GAP: 

Cheyenne: being somewhere new

Nate: the constant self-growth and manifestation of my own personal universal understanding or the really comfortable sleeping arrangements (sarcasm)

Jules: the people 

Noah: NOLS 

Neil: the travel abroad opportunity 

Alexa: the experiences

Tommy: traveling 

Sammy: getting to know people on a deeper level

Emerson: meeting everyone and getting to know everyone better 

Mary: getting to travel and experience new places

Laura: new perspectives on everything 

Angelo: Spain

B (Me): learning about the specific problems of these varying US areas and getting to know this unique group of individuals 


What profession u would want when you’re older: 

Cheyenne: sports medicine

Nate: professional life-liver or astronaut 

Jules: I don’t know

Noah: movie critic (Ebert jr.)

Neil: something business related 

Alexa: Journalist/Editor

Tommy: undecided 

Angelo: entrepreneur

Sammy: obstetrician/gynecologist 

Emerson: undecided 

Mary: elementary school teacher

Laura: actress

B (Me): anything involving sports


Hardest problem on GAP: 

Cheyenne: patience with living with 15 people at all times 

Nate: my motivation for showering 

Jules: Boulder fields (on NOLS)

Noah: creating expectations for people which may or may not have turned out how I expected

Neil: getting to know people 

Alexa: the way time exists

Emerson: 3rd week of NOLS, right in the middle of the woods

Tommy: being away for so long

Sammy: evacuation during NOLS 

Mary: 2nd day of NOLS 

Angelo: political differences

Laura: Getting used to a new lifestyle 

B (Me): getting accustomed to life in the wilderness


Preferred dorm at Elon: 

Cheyenne: Danieley

Nate: global 

Jules: global

Noah: colonnades 

Neil: historic 

Alexa: Nades or Global

Emerson: Global

Angelo: historic 

Mary: global or historic

Sammy: global

Tommy: Smith in historic 

Laura: Danieley

B (Me): Historic


If you weren’t going to Elon and had to pick one college to attend what would it be? 

Cheyenne: Stanford

Nate: film at NYU

Jules: Elon 

Noah: Wake Forest

Neil: Notre Dame

Alexa: university of Arizona 

Emerson: U of Michigan Deerborn


Angelo: Wake Forest

Sammy: Boston college

Tommy: Duke (in my dreams)/ High Point

Laura: NYU 


Siblings & ethnicity:

Cheyenne: one younger sister & Caucasian 

Nate: two younger sisters & Caucasian/unknown 

Jules: Younger brother & Italian, German, Irish 

Noah: Younger brother & 50% german 

Neil: older sister & mix of European descent

Alexa: one younger brother; Does Jewish count? 

Emerson: 3  younger sisters & 50% Italian/ 50% polish

Tommy: older sister & Irish, German, Italian, English 

Angelo: younger brother & 75% Italian 

Sammy: twin sister and one brother, Irish 

Mary: 1 older brother and Korean 

Laura: 2 Triplets and Puerto Rican

B (Me): younger brother, 75% Irish & 25% French


Religious beliefs (optional): 

Cheyenne: Southern Baptist

Nate: Nateitarian (accepting of all)

Jules: Christian

Mary: Catholic 

Emerson: Unitarian Universalist

Sammy: atheist 

Angelo: Catholic

Tommy: episcopalian

Laura: undecided

Neil: Catholic

Noah: Agnostic 

B (Me): Catholic/Unitarian Universalist


What you’re most looking forward to about returning home this week: 

Cheyenne: seeing all of my family

Nate: seeing my sisters or my own bed

Jules: my bed & my dog

Noah: seeing how life has changed for other people

Neil: seeing the family 

Alexa: My family

Tommy: seeing my family 

Mary: visiting my boyfriend in Maine

Laura: Seeing my friends, family, and Cat

Angelo: UT vs Bama football game

Sammy: seeing my boyfriend

Emerson: seeing all my old friends 

B (Me): seeing my family and my buddies 


What skill have you developed the most from these first 2/3 of gap experience: 

Nate: first aid skills 

Jules: trucker’s hitch’s

Neil: dealing with adversity 

Cheyenne: being open about my life

Noah: seeing life through a new perspective, a more diverse group of people

Alexa: outdoor living skills

Angelo: faster with writing papers

Sammy: talking to new people

Mary: being vulnerable and opening up to others

Emerson: willingness and openness with others 

Laura: Coming out of my shell

Tommy: Spikeball 

B (Me): verbal communication skills


Biggest concern about returning to campus a semester late: 

Cheyenne: being behind on pre-med course work

Nate: none 

Jules: bad roommate 

Noah: not being able to make the most of the opportunities a full first year student would have

Neil: getting readjusted to the conventional classroom setting 

Alexa: getting involved

Tommy: credits

Mary: not knowing much about campus

Sammy: not knowing the campus layout 

Emerson: not really knowing anyone

Angelo: finding the right people

Laura: Having trouble finding friends

B (Me): balancing my social life with academics


Favorite sport: 

Cheyenne: baseball

Nate: soccer 

Jules: baseball

Neil: hockey 

Noah: baseball 

Nate: soccer

Juliana: baseball

Alexa: Baseball/Hockey

Sammy: none 

Emerson: basketball & soccer 

Mary: gymnastics

Angelo: lacrosse

Tommy: football 

Laura: baseball 

B (Me): tennis


By: Angelo Boone

The service chapter of my Gap semester has come to a humbled end. I have learned much more than I ever thought I would during this chapter. When entering the service-learning chapter of the semester, I expected more service than learning and ironically the exact opposite happened. The places and communities we visited very much appreciated our presence and help; however, it was very clear that they had a lot more to offer than we did. I know that other in this cohort have a variety of feelings about how this experience has impacted them, so I thought it would be fun
for people to “sum-up” their Gap experiences in a three letter acronym-GAP.
Side Note- I do not believe that these acronyms genuinely reflect people’s views of their experience. Most of them are ridiculous and have no authenticity whatsoever.
Elizabeth: Get Along People
Brendan: Grumpy and Plumpy
Neil: Genuine And Prestigious
Cheyenne: Grimmy and Proud
Mary: Grouse And Pika
Sammy: Gross And Pungent
Juliana: Great Awesome People
Tommy: Girls Are Problems
Alexa: Gassy A** People
Noah: Global Application Program
Laura: Go Away, Predispositions
Emmerson: Great And Profound
Nate: Gimme A Pony
Me: Gifted Athletic People

Boat Race

By: Angelo Boone


Today the guys and girls in our group matched up head to head to see who could
build the most efficient raft out of a set amount of wood. The rafts were then tested and raced by Cheyenne and I. As soon a I heard that there was going to be a raft building contest, I got to work. The day before the race, Neil and I began the brainstorming process to try and think of the best way to build a raft that was not only floatable, but easy to maneuver. The outcome was a raft that resembles a catamaran, with three floating logs screwed together on each side.
The next day we began construction. I peaked over to see how the girls were
doing and saw that their plan was to just connect all their floating logs with a few
planks…Weak. Emma walked over to our raft and started insulting us on the complexity of our project. She told us about an acronym, KISS, which means “keep it simple stupid.” She just didn’t understand what we were capable of. About thirty minutes after the girls tested their raft, ours was ready to go.
As soon as I jumped on the raft, it almost flipped completely over and threw me
into the chilly water. I tried a few more times to get on, but it just wasn’t gonna happen. Cheyenne floated effortlessly by me and won the race. Emma’s acronym held true, I was stupid for not keeping it simple, and the rest of the day I was cold, wet, and defeated.