Last night, I celebrated the completion of two friends’ dissertations and I wanted to do something to acknowledge the event. I considered greeting cards, floral arrangements, homemade t-shirts, making an concentrated effort to call both of them “The Good Doctor So-and-So-All” night, running around the bar making sure I bought them both beers, blood donations in their names, and finally decided to go old school. Certificiates! Of Achievement! Because, really, when you’ve achieved something important, there’s nothing like a colorful piece of paper acknowledging that you achieved something important. Also, certificates are a reminder of a simpler time, one filled with stickers and smiley face stamps that used to let those of us who were good at school know that, as third graders, we really had some smarts. Graduate school can be difficult for a number of reasons and finishing a dissertation can be hard based on the nature of the project, but sometimes it’s the simple things that told us we were good at something that we miss the most, like a certificate telling us we did a good job. I really should have slapped a sticker on my Master’s thesis.