We’ve opened the box on the idea of Alchemy. How much do we know about it?

Our Kean University students are diving in the questions with their first week’s posts (check them out!) (comment!). I don’t know about others, but my appreciation and understanding is like maybe the first paragraph of Wikipedia, a glorified maybe tl;dr.

So as part of what will be a weekly synchronous event, in our class Wednesday night, the Kean students will be brainstorming some “What is Alchemy” questions, and starting at 6:00 PM EST (check your local time) we are running a Twitter Chat under our #netnarr hashtag.

Look for the tweeted out questions (with Q1, Q2) etc and jump in with your answers with A1, A2 (learn more about twitter chat and some tools you can use).

Fortunately we have not one but two people who are participating who have expertise in Alchemy. Yes EXPERTS (or “experts” because Laura does not like being labeled so!

John Stewart @jstew511

I have been the Assistant Director for Digital Learning at the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Teaching Excellence for the last year. There, I help to maintain the University’s Domain of One’s Own” project, OU Create, and help instructors integrate digital tools into their courses. Before that I taught the History of Science at OU and Missouri University of Science and Technology. My speciality is the history of chemistry from ancient Greek alchemy to the birth of organic chemistry in the 19th century. The history of science helps us to understand the intellectual, economic, political, and social development of the modern world.

Did you catch that?… “the history of chemistry from ancient Greek alchemy to the birth of organic chemistry in the 19th century” John is the real deal. Check out his blog http://www.johnastewart.org/.

Laura Gibbs @OnlineCrsLady

I’ve been teaching fully online classes at the University of Oklahoma since 2002; the courses I teach are “Mythology & Folklore” and “Epics of Ancient India: Ramayana and Mahabharata.” More about all that at MythFolklore.net. Before I started teaching online, I taught Latin and Greek, and my main area of interest was Aesop’s fables. I love Latin fables, proverbs, riddles, mottoes, emblems, and symbols, hence my interest in alchemy. If you are a student or teacher of Latin, you might enjoy my Latin blog: Bestiaria Latina, which you can find at BestLatin.net.

Laura has already been writing fantastic blog posts here on her Alchemy Library. And ask her about Latin cars!

Look forward to a lively exchange for an hour. Nobody knows what will happen.

Remember- Wednesday night, 6:00PM EST, #netnarr. Bring your Alchemy questions.

Post Chat Roundup

Featured Image: The Alchemist Gazes at MIT Building 7 flickr photo by Namlhots shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Profile Picture for Alan Levine
Alan Levine feels weird writing about himself in the third person. A 1990s pioneer on the web and early proponent of blogging, he shares his ideas at CogDogBlog.com. His interests include web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), mocking MOOCs, daily photography, bending WordPress, and randomly dipping into the infinite river of the internet.


  1. When it comes to digital platforms, I’m just a drip under pressure. I look forward to learning more about how twitter chats work. I did spend four decades turning sand into useful objects.

    Most of what I made was proprietary and I have no pictures. It includes cathode ray tubes, x-ray tubes, gas LASERs, vacuum manifolds and many types of chemical apparatus including separation, distillation and fractional distillation columns.

  2. Most of what I know about alchemy is from ancient chemistry and Paolo Cuehlo. Mostly Cuehlo. Also from Jung. If physical alchemy involves changing the properties of metals into gold, the I understand more about spiritual transformation and myth, archetypes and faith, their power to change consciousness and values. An adjunct professor of English at San Jacinto, I have spent a lifetime as an English teacher at the secondary and college level. I haven’t had time from tweets, blogs, or much writing. I do like to tell and write stories though, especially about spiritual transformation.

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