Well they fixed me up with a generic Ph.D. (three striped) robe and a CNU hood. Lexicographically, they were pretty darn close, since I graduated from CMU.
I dashed into the convocation in the nick of time as was directed to the first row. On stage the president of the university sat about ten feet away.
Almost immediately after I sat down the proceedings began. After the invocation and some greetings, a prominent faculty member stood up to give a speech. Just as she started, I experienced an unpleasant realization:
- My cell phone was in my pocket.
- I forgot to turn it off.
- I was in plain view and easy earshot of the president.
- My ringtone is the theme from Hawaii Five-O.
- I turn the volume up all the way because a) I don’t hear too well and b) I need to hear the phone over my car radio which I blast at runway level decibels. (Memo to self: consider the possibility that a) and b) are not independent.)
I decided to wait.
All ended well. The phone did not ring. But I was sweating some high caliber bullets.