|Wait. My modafinil|
hasn't kicked in yet!
The hand of modafinil, the drug designed to treat narcolepsy and used by fighter pilots to stay sharp, is all over university coursework these days. But it's not just the students taking the "king of smart drugs" to get verbose essays and dissertations done. Now lecturers are using it to grade the never-ending things, too.
VICE spoke to a number of university lecturers burdened with mounting workloads due to rising student numbers and extra bureaucracy who are breaking the law to import modafinil over the internet in order to plow through the paperwork.
Rachel, a lecturer in her 30s who teaches social sciences at a university in southeast England, loves modafinil. She first started using it a year ago to grade a mountain of 3,000-word undergraduate essays in three weeks—triple the amount of grading compared to a decade ago.
"The use of modafinil by students is just the tip of the iceberg," says Rachel, who buys her pills at 70p [$0.91] a pop from a Chinese website. "It seems bad to say, but grading essays is quite dull work. It's hard to keep focused and motivated when you've got to your fifty-ninth essay answering the same question.