Sunday, August 24, 2008

For those keeping track:

Cost of academic regalia ÷ number of wearings thus far = $160.00 per use.

As a return on value, that's not so bad--in just two or three more years the cost will be the same as if I'd shelled out for rentals each time.

By contrast, consider this equation:

[(money earned over three years of full-time employment + money earned over six years in graduate school) - (educational debt + consumer debt related to the profession)] ÷ nine years = an average annual salary too grim for me to contemplate.

Conclusion: as extravagances go, pretty clothes ain't got nothing on graduate school.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our institution rents regalia for us. We have the option of buying cap n gown but dang if I'm going to fork over that kind of money for 2 hours of use per year. Wear yours and be fabulous.

Concord Fowling Pieces said...

A) The advantage of being in a field where you can use your regalia at work every week. :)

B) My father actually rented regalia for something like 20 years of hooding ceremonies (though he just borrowed a hood off the pile each of those years). This strongly influenced my opinion on the matter of rent vs. buy (though we found a place where regalia cost only $400 or so for B http://www.gradgowns.com/ ).

Clio Bluestocking said...

Seriously, what are these things made of? For these prices, I want the thing to give me a back and shoulder massage all through the ceremony.

Of course, like you said, ain't nothing like the price tag on graduate schoool!

The Bittersweet Girl said...

I've heard lore of institutions that buy regalia for its faculty when they get tenure -- a gesture of incredible good faith and recognition, in my opinion.

Meanwhile, I wear the elephantine, dusty robes that got left behind in my department when some geezer professor retired -- and I'm thrilled to have them. Otherwise I literally would not be able to afford to hood my own grad students. Ain't it a crazy profession?

Dr. Delaney Kirk said...

I wish I had bought mine when I graduated with Ph.D. in 1988. At the time I didn't think I could afford it. Instead I have paid to rent one 1-2 times a year and it always looks cheap and wrinkled even after ironing.