### My God, I Actually Used Algebra...

*Ms. Buescher Warned Me This Might Happen Someday!*

Well, I just spent my part of my lunch hour doing someone else's homework.

Our receptionist is currently slogging through an online college math course, and every so often I get a problem or two tossed at me as I wander into work in the morning.

They're usually word problems, and I'm sure I should be using some formula to figure out the answer. I end up using the "brute force" method, and just push the problem through my puzzler until the light comes on.

Full disclosure: I failed Algebra I in high school not once but twice, finally squeaked by with a low C in summer school. I aced Geometry my junior year, then bombed out of Algebra II my senior year. I tried College Algebra, and dropped it like a hot rock a week before the first test.

Someone check my work and see if I gave her the right answers today:

1) Family uses 132 gallons of fuel oil between September and November. November is twice the usage of September, October consumption is 12 gallons more than September.

X + (x+12) + 2X

4x + 12 = 132

4x = 120

September = 30 gallons

2) Trapezoid is 224 sq. meters. Base is 20 meters, height is 16 meters. What's the length of the other parallel side to the base?

I'm thinking 8 meters?

16h x 20w = 320

320 sq m - 224 sq m (trapezoid) = 96 sq m

96 sq m /16h = 6 m

6m x 2 = 12 m

12 m - 20w = 8 m

Muchas Gracias, all you pencil-gnawing Poindexters!

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