UBC's degree parchments* suck. They print them out on 8.5" X 11" paper**. What the hell good is that? Everyone has 8.5" X 11" paper -- I've got a huge package of it sitting right next to my printer! They use a typeface that they think is elegant and apparently don't feel the need to have the words "Doctor of Philosophy" any bigger than a 14 point font. I mean, really, why does anyone need to see that this is a Ph.D.? It's not a big deal or anything. And I am not exaggerating when I say that the certificate I got for taking the one-day Radiation Safety course was just as nice as this one***:
In an attempt to make my degree parchment look more like it represents six years of blood, sweat and tears and less like I printed it out on my bubble jet printer, I purchased myself a fancy frame, complete with a gold medallion with the UBC crest in it. I had a gift certificate**** for the UBC Bookstore that covered half of it, so I can protect my hard-earned PhD parchment in a lovely frame and buy groceries this month! w00t!
So anyhoo, I go to put my parchment in the frame... and they give you a handy grid lined paper to help you centre your parchment. And the grid lines give you two options - 8 5/16" X 10 1/2" or 8 13/16" X 11". Let me reiterate that for you... I bought a frame at the UBC Bookstore, which contains a UBC crest and which is specifically advertised as being for the UBC degree parchment, and the grid lines they give you to line it up don't match the UBC degree parchment. I know it's not a big deal, as the actual matting is the correct size, but still. And what the hell kind of measurements are 8 5/16" X 10 1/2" or 8 13/16" X 11" anyway? I'm willing to bet that there has never, ever, ever, in the history of humanity, been a document that was 8 13/16" X 11". I'm sure of it. The upshot of this is that I had to line up my parchment in the frame by eyeballing it. How do you think I did?
*they aren't actually made of parchment, but that's what they are apparently called.
**contrast this with my McMaster degree, which measures a respectable 11' X 14"!
***OK, I'll admit right now that I was just too damn lazy to rotate this image. In fairness, it would probably take my computer 45 minutes to open Photoshop in order to do that. My computer is fun like that. So just tilt your head to see it, k?
****I won the gift certificate in an online teaching portfolio contest because I made a such a wicked good portfolio. And by "wicked good," I mean I was one of the three people who actually submitted portfolios by the deadline. But I managed to get a gift cert for something I was planning to make anyway, so it's all good.