Alexa Griffith’s website, An Elixir to Mayhem – Rules for Life, combines personal experiences, popular culture references and anecdotes to live by, all supported by texts that she has pored over. The concept of living life according to guidelines is one that I identify with in a time of societal change and upheaval; boundaries can bring freedom rather than restriction. When one knows what one’s priorities are, life is lived with a clear mind, avoiding constant second-guessing and reexamining of values.
The possible harshness of the idea of living life according to a set of rules is softened by Alexa’s casual, conversational tone in her posts. Alexa’s content is rife with examples of what Audrey Watters refers to in “The Web We Need to Give Students”, as “demonstrat[ing]… learning to others beyond the classroom walls”. The learning that Alexa is demonstrating has also been obtained outside of the classroom while informing the way she engages with academia: full of “discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility” (Griffith). I was also intrigued by the connection with the developing voice of Alexa’s site and the article “Why I Am Not a Maker” by Debbie Chachra. Chachra writes: “I want to see us recognize the work of [those] whose work isn’t about something you can put in a box and sell”. Chachra maintains throughout her article that the flow of information and ideas is no less valuable than a physical product. Alexa’s voice is representative of this; she has spent time and energy on the practice of living life well and documenting her experiences for her public.
Alexa’s site would benefit from an “About” section, as I felt that main identifying statements in her week 2 Process Post could be helpful to her public upon first glance. I did notice some pretty glaring punctuation issues and would encourage Alexa to edit her posts thoroughly, specifically with respect to run on sentences. There are a few sentences in which commas should be replaced with periods.
I want to touch briefly on the title of the website. It feels a little bit awkward to me. I wonder if this could be remedied by changing ‘to’ in An Elixir to Mayhem to ‘for’ in order for it to read An Elixir for Mayhem. Alternatively, it is possible that, because of the casual tone of the site, the title could be seen as a little bit heavy-handed; the word elixir has connotations of providing a magical cure to an illness, which I’m not sure is reflected in the tone of the content.
In “Why We Need Social Paper” by Erin Glass, she emphasizes the need for “a space and a culture which promotes the practice and exchange of reflective thought” through engaging in “the collaborative, the social and the public”. I look forward to the development of Alexa’s voice in these aspects as, at this point, An Elixir to Mayhem does not explicitly invite engagement from a public, though I find the content engaging and conversational in nature. Alexa’s content does, however, invite her public to engage in reflective thought, even if it is implicit.
Chachra, Debbie. “Why I Am Not a Maker.” The Atlantic, The Atlantic Monthly Group, 23 Jan. 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/.
Glass, Erin. “Why We Need Social Paper.” CUNY Academic Commons, The City University of New York, 11 Dec. 2015, https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/papers/45249/.
Griffiths, Alexa. An Elixir to Mayhem. WordPress. http://alexagriffiths.com/. 28, Sept. 2018.
Watters, Audrey. “The Web We Need to Give Students.” BRIGHT Magazine, BRIGHT Magazine, 15 Jul. 2015, https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713.