Not to brag or anything but I recently finished a degree at a French university. I knew not to expect a graduation ceremony of any kind (because that would be so American! French school just peters out) but I did want a diploma to hang on my mother's wall along with all the other family members' diplomas: with calligraphy, my name in Gothic letters, and preferably a nice big gold seal with even a tassel or two.
I waited and waited and waited. Nothing. My classmates and I discussed the issue on our class Facebook page. No one had heard anything.
A year and a half after I got my degree, word finally came that the diplomas were available. You could go in and pick them up. Happily I stuffed a stiff cardboard case into my bag and headed over to the administration building. It was quite hard to find the obscure room I had been told to go to. It was in a temporary building behind the main, squalid building full of students sitting on the floor, scruffy-looking teachers, and unisex toilets. The administration building was clean and new and every footstep reverberated. "You are requested to be quiet in the hallways!" said a sign.
In the office, I was greeted with a smile. After I gave my name, one of the secretaries typed it into her computer and pushed a button. And out of the printer came my new, hard-won diplôme! It looked very much like this:
Don't think I'll be framing it after all.