Here's example. How many of you can recognize the following letter: " X "
For those of you that said "it's an X, stupid", congradulations. However, it's much easier when the letter is typewritten instead of scrawled on a chalkboard by some TA whose name you cannot pronounce. (We just call him "Guy". Seriously.) Today, for example, whenever Guy would write a formula on the board, I'd jot down in the margin what that first letter looked like to me, making an honest attempt to decipher the marks on the board. Perpaps it's noteworthy to mention that each of these example problems began with "X = (something)". However, for the purposes of this experiment, I ignored this convenient little fact and did the best I could on my own.
In one class period alone (just under an hour total), his "X" looked like the following letters: M, Q, I, V, G, E, H, N, Y, U, R, and occasionally X. For those of you that are keeping score at home, this is one letter shy from being half of the entire alphabet. =P
To my knowledge, each of these instances were supposed to be an X, though just by looking at the letter in question a student would be unable to tell. Also, each instance of the letter X looked different from the others, even when it was obvious that the mark was supposed to be the same letter (such as when he would copy an equation from the bottom of the board to the top of the other board so that it would be easier to see).
Yeah, this is going to be a fun semester, all right. God help us once we get to the hard stuff...