301070422 - REVISED

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It’s just another sunny Monday morning in UCSD La Jolla, San Diego, and Liam is rushing as always to make his way out of his dormitory and towards the Arts Wing of the campus for his 8:30 Philosophy 100 class. As he bites on a stale bagel during his rushed walk, he notices Eric his floor-mate catching up next to him.

Eric: “Hey! Getting ready for 2 hours of Mr. Stevens talking about the ‘importance of Philosophy’ and everyone else falling asleep?”
Liam: “Hey! I thought you were already in class; guess we’re not too different after all ha-ha. Yeah tell me about it; it’s been 2 weeks and I’m already regretting listening to my parents about getting a college degree. Such a waste of time!”
Eric: “What are you talking about? I thought you had a 3.8 GPA or something, why don’t you want to be here?”
Liam: “I don’t mind education, I welcome it actually, but to have 4 years of my life be wasted with courses like this just for requirements is ridiculous. I’m doing this for my dad because otherwise he wouldn’t pass over an inch of the company to me without that piece of paper, even though I already know everything about running a business!”
Eric: “Hey, at least you have it all set when you’re out, what’s so terrible about that?”
Liam: “It’s complicated, and we better run or we’re going to end up at the front again.”

Liam and Eric take their final steps and make their way inside the lecture room. Other students are seated, waiting, and whispering to one another. As the two sit down and get ready for class, Liam overhears the girl in front of him say to the girl sitting next to her, “What’s he doing staring at that glass of water so much? Just drink it already!” He looks down the Lecture room and notices Mr. Stevens looking at a full glass of water. Eric also takes notices and says: “next thing you know he’s going to say there’s a whole world in this glass of water that we don’t know about and they don’t know about us! Ha-ha”

Mr. Stevens finally looks up and asks the class: “How much does this glass of water weigh?”
A few students start to call out random numbers such as "50g, 100g, and 140g...” Then the professor picks up the glass and holds it at arms length and asks the students: “What would happen if I held the glass up for a few minutes?” The girl sitting in front of Liam responds that his arm would get tired. Mr. Stevens then asks “What would happen if I held it up for an hour?” This time Liam responds: “Your arm would most likely lose sensation and become numb.” Surprised at the quick comment, the girl sitting in front of him turns around and smiles in amusement, and Liam comments: “Where is he getting with this honestly!” The girl replies: “I’m lost too! I’m Sarah by the way.”
Liam replies with a smile: “I’m Liam. I hope he doesn’t intend to try this right now.”
Sarah: “Yeah I don’t have the patience for that, though it would be interesting.”

Mr. Stevens finally asks the class “What would happen if I held it up for a day?”
Eric anxiously replies that he would need to go to the hospital for help. The kind professor acknowledges the response and deems it satisfactory. 
The professor then moves across the room all the while still holding up the glass of water, and begins to tell a story. "Most people treat problems in their life like this, they hold on to a problem for hours, days, and even years. The weight of the issue becomes more and more difficult to handle, but all the while the problem itself stays the same." Some students start to smile and appreciate the story; others like Liam are taken by surprise and take a moment to reflect about Mr. Stevens’ story. After a few moments of reflection a couple students finally yell out: "PUT DOWN THE GLASS!” and after finally putting down the glass Mr. Stevens says, “Alright, class dismissed.”

Eric: “Well that was a lot shorter and stranger than expected! Want to grab a proper breakfast?”
Liam: “Sure. What do you mean by ‘stranger than expected’, his strangeness isn’t new.”
Eric: “That’s not what I meant…”
Sarah: “Her do you guys want to grab something to eat, or drink! That talk made me thirsty ha-ha.”
Eric: “Yeah we were just going to do that…Liam I meant it’s strange because we were just talking about your problems with your dad and university. You don’t find it strange that this lecture came just after our talk?”
Sarah: “Oh! Is everything okay? Did you have a fight with your dad or something?”
Liam: “Eric! Way to bring this up at the right time! No everything is fine other than I’m wasting my time being here and my dad thinks I would be throwing my life away otherwise. I don’t even need his company anyways, I can just start my own right now!’
Eric: “Well, it’s clear you definitely need to be in school right now. I think your dad’s right. Don’t take this the wrong way, and I know you’re a smart guy and all, but you’re being very immature about this whole situation.”
Liam: “Great, one more person on his side telling me what’s right for me. Think I’m going to head back to my room for breakfast.”
Eric: “Liam I just think you should think about what Mr. Stevens just said about dealing with our problems, I didn’t want to upset you buddy.”
Sarah: “I think I caught you guys at a bad time, but since I’ve been involved I feel sort of obligated to tell you Liam to change your perspective. If you hadn’t come to University you wouldn’t have met us, or had the chance to take any course possible and explore your other options too. You might end up taking interested in other topics you never considered before. It’s not so bad. Plus we have time plenty to figure things out. Maybe we can all grab breakfast another time, it was nice meeting you guys.”

Embarrassed and frustrated, Liam nods goodbye to Sarah and Eric and starts walking back to his dorm. He thinks about their arguments and quickly realizes that he has been spending too much time being angry with his dad and with going to college, and not enough time enjoying the experience and appreciating the privileges. He looks at himself in his bathroom mirror and right away regrets the first impression he just made with Sarah, and for not listening to Eric’s advice earlier. He grabs his keys and runs back to the campus cafeteria and finds Sarah and Eric in line at the counter. They see him approaching and smile.
Liam turns to them and says, “well we have the whole day ahead of us, might as well start the Monday with a proper breakfast then!”