Sometime around mid-afternoon, my crappy bad attitude finally lifted. There are various external factors I might credit with this change, or it might be the ever-shifting sea of neurochemicals in my skull. Whatever, I'm happy to be feeling better.
And my afternoon class (the ones who were turning in a paper today) were great. This is my first year using turnitin.com -- my U has been a subscriber to it for several years, but I preferred to nab my plagiarists by hand. (And, of course, to design weirdly unique assignments that wouldn't be so amenable to plagiarism.) But this year I thought I'd give it a try -- if for no other reason than that an extra dose of Plagiarism Prevention couldn't hurt. Plus, I wanted to be able to mix in some more conventional types of essay topics, and those tend to cause even good students to get distracted by Spark Notes.
But what I didn't realise is that one of the other benefits is that my students weren't literally handing in their papers to me today. I had set the deadline as today, up until midnight. Which meant that there was none of that exhausted up-all-night, haven't-done-today's-reading behavior in class today. If anything, my students were kind of pumped up because they were mostly in the midst of writing their papers. With an online system like turnitin, there's actually no reason to make the due date a class day, even. Maybe next time I'll just have them due at 6 pm Friday or something.