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I was an exchange student in the US when two congressmen visited our university—Lamar Smith (Republican) and Henry Cuellar (Democrat). I decided to go to their forum and listen to these two men, and when it came to the Q&A portion, I decided to participate. I introduced myself loud and clear so everyone in the audience looked at me and I went through my question, “I’m a scholar here…” my phone started vibrating–but I ignored it, “…and I just want to ask about your initiatives and your thoughts regarding international education, specifically the likes of Fulbright and those that are supported…”

At that moment, my phone rang the loudest! It was my alarm ringing! And it couldn’t be stopped by a single button–you needed to solve puzzles and shake it straight for 11 seconds to make it stop. The audience started to laugh. Even the two congressmen started laughing, and Henry Cuellar started dancing to the song.

After a few more embarrassing minutes, I managed to remove my cellphone battery. I smiled, laughed and continued on my question like nothing happened.
Nester Mendoza, by email

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