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When professors are cut off from their students, what do they do?

In this case, they made movie trailers

PORTLAND, Maine — When Bates College ended its physical classes and sent students home last month, Professor Andrew Kennedy wanted to reach out to his students in a way both lighthearted and serious. The message he hoped to convey was straightforward—things have changed and we all have to adapt—but the medium he chose was unconventional. He made the equivalent of a movie trailer for a course he teaches, poking fun at himself as he struggled to adjust to the new reality of online teaching.

As a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Kennedy knows plenty about chemical reactions. When it comes to video reactions, though, not so much. As a result, he was floored when his playful little trailer racked up more than 60,000 views.

Michelle Greene, a professor of neuroscience at Bates, also made a trailer for one on her courses, an homage to James Bond called “The Classroom Is Not Enough.” 007 drinks martinis; Greene, in the trailer, guzzles coffee. Does she end up saving the world from a diabolical villain? Sorry, there will no spoilers here.

What inspired the trailers? And what’s the reaction been to them? Watch our interviews to find out.

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