MtvU’s Stand-In Replaces Professors
At the University of Illinois at Chicago, cell phones were no doubt blowing up as students who overslept scrambled to get dressed knowing that Sting was rocking Advanced Music Composition without them.
The one-named phenomenon and three of his band members took over Dr. Laura Schwendinger’s class one April as part of mtvU’s “Stand In,” a television show that replaces professors with star-power substitutes.
Talking about music and success, Sting held his bass and spontaneously performed songs like “Message in a Bottle” before encouraging the awe-struck students to join in on “Every Breath You Take.”
Other mtvU stand-ins have included:
Fifty students at Stanford University’s “Maintaining Sustainable Building Projects” were thrilled to receive a surprise visit from Cameron Diaz, host of the MTV series “Trippin.” With world-renowned architect and designer William McDonough by her side, she discussed environmental civil engineering and the sustainable development movement, as well as her own travels to ecologically unique parts of the world.
As if a preview screening of “V for Vendetta” isn’t enough, the “Terrorism and Counterterrorism” class at Columbia University was graced with the presence of the movie’s star, Natalie Portman. The Jerusalem-born stunner surprised the class by leading a question and answer session on “the fine line between terrorists and freedom fighters.”
The blond bombshell herself popped in to lead a class on “Music, Film, Media Studies and Marketing” at New York City’s Hunter College. After showing a special screening of “I’m Going to Tell You a Secret,” her documentary film, she took questions from the students and offered candid answers on her life, her career and her documentary.
Who better to lead UCLA’s “Biology of Cancer” class than a cancer survivor? Musical genius Melissa Etheridge stepped in for the professor to discuss the medical, sociological and psychological impacts of cancer on both individuals and society, including her own experience with the disease.
Grammy Award-winner and self-proclaimed “college dropout” Kanye West visited a music class at his former college, Chicago State University. Teaching a songwriting and arranging course, he shared his thoughts on music, life and culture.
The computer legend stunned students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s “Introduction to Programming” class when he talked about leading-edge technologies and how they will eventually change the way people live and work. He also touched on the computer science industry and how careers within the field are changing.
Some students probably thought they were still in bed dreaming (or having a nightmare!) when Marilyn Manson showed up to lead the “Arts in Society” class at Temple University. But the Monday afternoon class was quickly lifted from its post-weekend slump when the rocker spoke on just about everything: self-expression, art, politics and himself. With blue hair, piercings and lipstick, he was no doubt as interesting to look at as listen to. Either way, he got nothing but praise.