This year the graduating CS Ph.D. students got lab coats among their gifts, replacing laser-engraved knick-knacks and other garbage with irony, as we should do whenever possible. Since I am an alumnus, illustrator at large, and known to wear a lab coat when pretending science, I found myself in charge of making this instruction sheet to go in the program, so that the students know what to do with their new clothes. It seems a lot of people didn't end up seeing this, oh well, but now you can take a look whether you got Ph.D. or not. It says:
Shortly after your friends get over addressing you as "Doctor <lastname>" (this is mostly ironic and will probably only last a day or two) you will find out that you do not actually get any additional respect for having a PhD. Most of the people you know already have one. When say you're a doctor, real people think this means medical doctor, which can result in uncomfortable questions. You'll even start to feel guilty when you select the prefix "Dr." from the drop-down menu when filling out your address online, beginning to suspect that this indulgence is not intended for doctors of philosophy, whatever that even means. People can sense this self-doubt like dogs can smell fear, which reduces their esteem for you further. However, in a pinch, there is a universal symbol of scholarship and stature available: the Lab Coat. It is easy to use. Simply by wearing it, you will be perceived as having the dignity of a medical doctor, scientist (the kind with test tubes), or dentist. This means instant respect. So: Go forth! Stand tall! You're a doctor!
— Dr. Tom Murphy VII, Ph.D. (CSD 2008)