The piece of paper

The diploma showed up today… finally, two months after the official graduation date. I was surprisingly underwhelmed. I pulled it out of the envelope, sniffed at it disdainfully, and shoved it back in the envelope. Not quite sure why I felt that way.

Maybe because of its unceremonious arrival. My undergrad degree was handed to me onstage, rolled up and tied with a wide ribbon in the school colors. That is far more meaningful than arriving in a plain brown cardboard envelope. I’m surprised it didn’t say “please recycle” on it.

Perhaps it was its size. Again next to the undergrad diploma, this one is puny in comparison.

Maybe it was the fact that they decided to omit my middle name entirely. No initial or anything. How can it be official if it only has two-thirds of my name on it?

Maybe it was the bland generic-ness of the diploma. Really didn’t scream, “Hey you, what a big accomplishment, yeehaw!” More like, “Thank you for purchasing Cracker Jacks.”

Perhaps I’m just retaining my bitterness about the end of the program. No last class, no class party… We found out we met the requirements by looking up our grades online. The diploma comes in the mail in a plain brown envelope. And the graduation ceremony won’t happen for another three months and many of my classmates have moved away and won’t be making the trek back to campus for that. Would’ve been nice to have a class hoe-down. One of these days I’ll get over it, I’m sure. But for now I remain, faithfully yours, Ms. Disdainful, MS, RN, CNL with a puny, ugly, incomplete diploma in a brown cardboard envelope.

(Seriously, I’m not that bitter, but I am kind of surprised at exactly how underwhelmed I felt by the whole thing.)


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