July 16, 2007

Someday. . . .

Once upon a time, I went to BYU.

Then, after three years, my freshly acquired husband and I decided to move to Texas (warm! fun! good schools! cheap housing!).

Thanks to choosing the shortest major there was (history), only three classes stood between me and my first academic diploma (I didn't graduate from high school). And all of those classes were offered online. After I moved to Texas last year, I enrolled in those classes, ordered the books, and pushed myself through those nine credits (pssst. . .online classes, while excellent in theory, are rather unwonderful, and I would highly recommend skipping them if possible). I took my last final in January, and we celebrated by eating raw fish. It was a really fantastic day.

Of course, I had to wait until the end of April to be officially graduated, seeing as how they don't really care to just mail out diplomas any old time. They want you on their time table. And, since they are the holders and distributors of the diplomas, you must go along with it. Also, when they say you must pay $15 for the privilege of receiving the diploma you've already paid thousands of dollars to get, well, you go along with that too.

I waited for my diploma.

And waited.

And then, instead of a hefty envelope protecting my diploma from bending, tearing, or crumpling, I got a thin little envelope saying "Congratulations on graduating! What an accomplishment! We are so proud! Also, you owe us ten more dollars for mystery fees and if you don't send it in a brown paper bag in unmarked bills, you'll never see your precious diploma again."

So what was I to do? I called up, gave them my credit card number, and paid the ten dollars.

And then the waiting began in earnest.

Every day, I'd check the mail.

Every day, nothing.

Repeat for dozens of days.

Finally, I called BYU Records and asked what had happened to my diploma. The lady looked up my records and told me I had a $10 fine. Yes, yes, I'd heard that line. I told her I'd paid it already. "Oh, I'm so glad you've called!" the nice lady on the other end told me. "You see, the financial office doesn't notify us when someone has paid their fines, so we have no way to know if your diploma should be mailed unless you contact us personally." Then I melted the phone with the fiery anger of my eyes.

She said she'd put the diploma in the mail.

And the waiting recommenced.

After two more weeks, I called again. A charming young man named Mike told me it had been mailed on July 4. I didn't ask WHY they'd waited nearly 10 days after I'd called to put it in the mail. I didn't ask why anyone was even working on the 4th of July (BYU takes off Pioneer Day, for heaven's sake; not the 4th of July?). I just thanked him politely and then wept into my cell phone. Perhaps someday, when my children were graduating from college, my diploma would arrive.

Today, when we pulled up to the house after work, I told Bart that my diploma was here. I could feel it; we should get the camera to record this moment for posterity. Bart laughed, since I've said something like this every day for the last month.

But, when we opened the mail box, there was a key inside, for the parcel box. We opened the parcel box. . . . . .

Inside sat Bart's recent purchase from amazon.com.

And my diploma envelope.


  1. Congratulations on being one patient woman, and on getting your DIPLOMA!! That is super exciting! I hope you are celebrating like crazy today!

  2. I think by changing names and address the day after I graduated messed things up and I haven't been diligent as I should, so now 8 years after I graduated I still don't have my diploma, hmmmm, I wonder if I have a $10 fee also...
    Perhaps it's time to look into that.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS, Sweetie!!! I am one proud parent!! Thanks for sharing. How about a photo of the real diploma :)

  4. This was a crack-up to read. You're quite the entertaining writer. It's like we're right in the room with you as your telling the story! We're all very proud of you! Good job!

  5. Sounds like you could give a course in how to physically get your diploma. I think you need another one, or at least a certificate of perseverance LOL!

  6. Congratulations. As one who thought she didn't receive her high school diploma for many years (when I went back to the school to investigate, my records just said "left", not that I graduated, and I couldn't find anyone who could tell me different, knew I had the diploma cover and tassle, but couldn't remember receiving and couldn't find the diploma), I understand the sense of completion that actually having the diploma in hand brings. Good job! (especially in finishing up those online classes).

  7. Geez, what a marathon! Sounds a bit like trying to get Blake's mission call...always one more paper that hasn't been turned it, some person or doctor who didn't sign something in the right spot - no mystrious fees though! Like your Mom, lets see a photo of the actual diploma! Yippee!

  8. Congrats!!! Hurray for you! Frankly, I think this deserves another raw-fish dinner. Ya know, because doesn't one always need some excuse for sushi? :)


  9. Congratulations!

    I took the independent study route...and failed and then had to return to school, but it was in Hawaii...and then, apparently classes from BYU-H and BYU aren't interchangeable, so three years and two petition letters later, I finally graduated. I feel your pain.

    Oh, and thanks for motivating me to finally set up my google reader! Fantastic!

  10. I'm convinced that college is to teach us things like patience and perseverance.


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  12. Good things come to those who wait. Aaaaand melt phones with fiery anger... aparently. *thumbs up*

  13. woo hoo! quite unceremonious, but exciting nonetheless!

  14. Yeah! You know when I graduated they actually gave us our diplomas rolled up like we were in kindergarten. It was too large to go in the folders the University provided (I graduated from Pharmacy school and I guess they thought they were better..)Anyway when I framed it it was a lot bigger then hubby's even though we went to the same school.


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