Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

Previously in this series: If Shakespeare’s Richard III Were Your Coworker

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, you would ask her what would be on the final, and she would reply, “All manner of things shall be on the exam.”

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, you could drop by with a question anytime, and she would be in her office. There would be rumours that she actually lived in her office. Even on the rare occasions that her door was closed, you would occasionally still hear the whistle of the teakettle.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would sometimes talk about her cat in class. She would compare Mr. Moggy’s determined effort to hunt the mice in the walls to humankind’s search for meaning in a crumbling and confusing world.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would be physically clumsy but mentally agile, constantly tripping over objects whilst offering incisive commentary on Augustine’s psychological analogy of the Trinity.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would always have a mug of tea nearby. When the two of you had meetings, she would offer you a cup of tea. It would always be builder’s tea, and you would always accept. Your papers would be returned to you with tea-rings on them, and sometimes a scribbled note of apology beside the stains.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would have the most enviable collection of cardigans.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would be older than the other assistant professors, and there would be rumours about her life before academia. Some would say that she came from a minor aristocratic family but no longer spoke to them; some would say that she had had several previous careers. No one would ever be impertinent enough to ask her, and no amount of Google searching would ever reveal the truth.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would occasionally appear on BBC history programmes. But she would never mention it unless asked, in which case she would fondly reminisce about all the laughs she had working with dear Sue Perkins.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would calmly and efficiently dispatch any offensive comments made by the bro in the back row. He would feel instant contrition, and start reading progressive feminist sites as soon as he got home. By the following semester, he would bring brownies to Gay-Straight Alliance meetings at which he would never, ever speak, only listen.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would always reply to your emails within the hour, and this would add fuel to your suspicions about her living in her office.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would never, ever drink with undergraduates.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would sometimes hold seminars outside. Your tight-knit class of six would sit in the dappled light under the hazelnut tree talking about Kristeva, and you’d be so caught up in the discussion you wouldn’t even notice that class ran over by twenty minutes.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would be good friends with Judith Butler. Sometimes you would hear their uproarious laughter coming from Julian’s office. You’d peek in and find both of them in front of the computer, watching cat videos together.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would never turn your scholarship forms in late.

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, she would be deeply confused by the various types of social media used by her students. She would refer to “the Facebook,” “YourTube,” and “Twittering” and mix them all up. She would, however, know all about the Cloud.

$
Select Payment Method

Loading ...

Personal Info

Donation Total: $1.00

Laura Moncion is a graduate student currently working on medieval spirituality. Other interests include poetry, fermentation, and quoting Judith Butler at parties.

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again

(Close this.)