Ever since I defended my dissertation, I've been getting messages of the "Okay, now you're really, really done. No, this time I mean it" variety from individuals, departments, and the institution itself. This culminated over the summer with several letters from the registrar saying things like "YOU HAVE FULFILLED ALL THE REQIREMENTS FOR THE PhD" and later "You will be receiving a diploma at the end of the semester" and then "You will be receiving your diploma, like, months after the semester is actually over." Honestly. Could they draw it out any more? It's been a year and three quarters since I defended and was supposedly allowed to call myself "Doctor."
Today I got a robot phone call from UPS saying they will be delivering a package from Records and Registration tomorrow, signature required This will finally, finally, be the diploma*. While it is unlikely that I'll be able to attend the graduation ceremony itself from out of state, I at least wanted the regalia for attending future events as other faculty do. I called the official university bookstore to find out about getting said regalia.
Since so few PhDs are granted there, I had to speak to three different people before I found someone who had any answers, and he still had to go look it up. What it is, is that most graduating students rent their outfits for a hundred-odd dollars, but one can also purchase them. The "hood" and "tam" (oh, great...a tam) would be about seventyish dollars to purchase, and the gown (sit down) is...seven hundred fifty dollars.
So, guess what? I'm not buying that gown. Nosirree. My theory is that the education accessories mill realizes that after years of getting money from PhD students, they are about to leave, so now is the last chance to get anything. Make it expensive!
The clerk did mention that most faculty simply rent a basic black PhD gown for events, anyway, and wear the purchased headgear with it. So there ya go.
For photos, I can probably just photoshop photos of my body graduating from undergrad, but with my current head in the PhD headgear, since my undergrad and grad schools had the same school colors. Yep.
I'll look a lot thinner, too.
*Yes, this is an assumption, which practically begs heaven for some horrible mishap.