I’m taking a class here called EU Integration, I signed up for it because I’m an International Affairs major, I’m supposed to learn stuff like this eventually, right? The class meets twice a week and pretty much focuses on how the European Union came to be. Up until the midterm we studied the Maastricht Treaty, and vague terms like the “Enlargement”, “Deepening”, and “Expansion” of the EU. Class always has the same structure and my classmates have picked up the same routine. We were each assigned a country that is a member of the EU and at the beginning of every class period we must provide a brief summary of a news story that is relevant to the state of the EU. We are dubbed “experts” on our respective countries, and from the title of this post you may have gathered that I’m the expert on Italian affairs. What’s funny to me though is that when class starts you can see everybody frantically connecting to the school wifi on their phones or iPods and scrambling for a computer  in search of an EU relevant article about their respective country. This routine always amuses me for two reasons:

#1- You know that you have to do this ahead of time, twice a week!

#2- It takes at most 10 minutes out of your life.

I pride myself on keeping up with world events, so I usually don’t have to scramble for some information on my country 30 seconds before the professor walks in the door, but I must admit it has happened before. I think I even read a news headline straight from my phone when it was my turn to share on one occasion. If all else fails, every once in a while our professor let’s us get away with “there’s really nothing going on with [insert country] today” this is easier to do if say you’re the expert for Estonia or the ever neutral Switzerland. Sometimes one of my classmates who (obviously) didn’t read the news over the weekend will fib and say that there was nothing in the news, and the professor will spend 15 minutes talking about all the different news stories related to the country. I never mind because it takes away from the actual course content which is unbearable to listen too. After midterms the class turned to focus on the Lisbon Treaty, and of course the best way to go over the Lisbon Treaty is to talk about every article in the treaty which by the way is made up of  290+ articles. Let’s just say, I started running out of things to doodle in my notebook and started coming up with blog post ideas instead. Upon my return to the States I plan to regale strangers at parties with my extraneous knowledge on Silvio Burlesconi’s prostitution trial, Italian bonds, or the riveting content of the articles that make up the Lisbon Treaty. Do not be jealous if I suddenly become the most sought after figure for UMW social events, you have been forewarned.