A number of years ago I was teaching Math 403 in the fall and 404 in the spring. On first day of the spring semester, I walked into the classroom and wrote on the blackboard: Math 403. Then I went into my usual first-day-of-class rap, and for quite a while, nobody commented. Finally, about halfway through the period, one of my students said, ``Excuse me, I think this is Math 404.''
Okay, so I'd screwed up. But I was close. I thought it should have been worth partial credit. I would have given partial credit.
Four months later: I got my end-of-semester teaching evaluations. One said, ``I knew from the beginning that this class was going to be a completely loss when the instructor couldn't even get the course number right on the first day.''
Okay. Fair enough.
But what got me was that after deciding on the first day that the course was not going to be worthwhile, this student stayed in the course for the whole semester.
This, to me, exemplifies an attitude that is all too typical among students.