Standing on the top, top

On the top getting down, yeah

Standing on the top (Yeah), top

On the top getting down, Temptations sing

(by Rick James)



So, I “marched” last Friday morning. What I mean is, I walked across the stage at Troy University to receive the textured, blue diploma cover containing a congratulatory letter form the chancellor and an imitation diploma (because the real one had been mailed to me a month ago).


Actually, the word “march” –when referring to going up onto the platform to receive one’s diploma—is somewhat of a misnomer. Not everyone who crossed the stage “marched”. I marched—of course—being an old war veteran, however, some people simply walked. Others stutter-stepped, stopped, and started again. Some sauntered. One fellow—obviously a “Q”—strolled across the stage while barking the familiar Q-dawg bark.


My fellow Master’s degree recipients and I each took turns crossing the stage, pausing at the midpoint to be “hooded”. Our “hoods” were ceremoniously placed about our necks and draped down our backs by two holders of the esteemed Doctorate degree.


The hoods did not cover our heads.  If they had been placed on our heads, I imagine we’d have resembled an order of Druids or a priory of monks. As it was, I couldn’t help feeling like the acolyte of some great medieval times wizard who was being bequeathed full-fledged wizardry rights.


Thankfully, the ceremony went off without a hitch. I hadn’t faired so well receiving my undergraduate degree—I forgot my tassel. But this time I remembered all of my regalia, neither did I stumble, trip, nor slip while processing through the various ceremonial stations. I’ve seen videos of people who were not so fortunate.


I only wish that the great Wizard would have granted me the foresight to have known that the sleeves of the gown were actually sewn closed. Imagine my surprise when my hand ran into a dead end; a cul-de-sac of sorts, at the end of the sleeve.



It turns out that the correct way of donning the gown is by putting your arm through the hole located higher up the sleeve. What educated dummy thought of that idea?


Despite the sleeve glitch, I made it through and now I’m STANDING ON THE TOP!


Climb ev’ry mountain

Search high and low

Follow ev’ry by-way

Every path you know

Climb ev’ry mountain

Ford ev’ry stream

Follow ev’ry rainbow

‘Till you find your dream

A dream that will need

All the love you can give

Every day of your life

For as long as you live

Climb Ev’ry Mountain

Song by Shirley Bassey


  1. How did I miss THIS?! How handsome you are! Such an accomplished man you are! But you know what Ron? You were smarter than most Ph.D’s 25 years ago! LOL!!!
    Despite that fact, you did it!
    I love you!
    Your Cuz,

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s