The mail carrier brought a few reminders of my recent walk across the commencement stage at the University of Toledo in the acquisition of my doctoral degree. The first of these academic packages contained my PhD diploma, and I have to admit I had some trepidation in placing the document in its new framed home: what if I accidentally stabbed the diploma with the frame nails or something?
It might be weeks before a replacement diploma would arrive.
The diploma is of course the traditional symbol of degree completion, though as I mentioned in a previous post it is really the academic transcripts that open the metaphorical doors for graduates. No one really sees the diploma, at least for those who do not create specially-lit shrines for the world to admire. My own diplomas hang on a wall above my desk, mostly for my own amusement. However, with my wife well on her way to a second MA in mathematics, we will soon have six degrees between us, and we could probably outfit a goodly-sized room with our academic mementos.
Left: more bling
Yet the mailman also brought me another academic trinket the other day: my very own fresh-from-the-printer University of Toledo Alumni Association card. The folks at the Alumni Association (no doubt in a cynical appeal to my vanity) typed the following boldfaced and centered salutation: "Dr. Michael E. Brooks."
The card also indicates that I am "entitled to all the rights and privileges thereof" as a member of the Association. Why, I'll just bet that this card could assist me in getting out of traffic tickets, usher me backstage at concerts, and whisk me right through the security checkpoints at international airports.
After all: I am a doctor now, and I have a card to prove it. Of course, it is kind of a thin and flimsy plastic, but if I laminate it with a tougher coating, the card would be even more awe-inspiring. I'll bet the card works even better than Obi-Wan Kenobi and his hand-wave Jedi mind tricks: just wave the card in front of a recalcitrant restaurant hostess or traffic cop, and you get whatever you want.
It's that easy.