A couple of weeks ago, I finally received my master’s degree (in physical form) from Georgia State. I was surprised by its size. It seemed a bit larger than I remember any of my previous diplomas being. Perhaps they always make the diploma for a higher-level degree larger than the diploma for a lower-level degree, just to make you feel extra special about earning it. If that’s true, then I’m a bit unsure of what I’ll do when I get my Ph.D., the diploma for which should be about the size of a king-size bed sheet. Maybe you’re expected to fly it outside your home like a flag. That’ll command some respect from your neighbors, for sure. If one of them slips up and forgets to address you as Dr., you can just give an awkward cough and glance in the direction of your flag/diploma. That should nip that one in the bud, right quick.
I was also amused by the language of my diploma. As you can see in the below photograph, it says, “To all persons to whom this writing may come, Greeting”. I guess I’m being picky, but that just sounds awkward. Why “greeting” in the singular? Perhaps that’s technically correct, or at least technically acceptable, but it sure sounds funny. Regardless, it strikes me as somewhat humorous to put a salutation at the top of the diploma in the first place. I’ll have to look at other diplomas from other institutions, particularly graduate degree diplomas, and see if that’s standard practice. I really shouldn’t knock it when it could just be American tradition. That wouldn’t make me look very smart, unlike the photo at the top of this post.
My master’s degree says to tell you, “Hello!”