# FoxTrot by Bill Amend for January 25, 2009

#### Transcript:

Paige: Aaaa! I can't do these math problems! Why am I so stupid?! "If 2x + y = 60 and x + 2y = 75, solve for x and y." How the heck do I figure that out?! Peter: If two shirts and a sweater costs $60, and a shirt and two sweaters costs $75, what does each item cost? Paige: The shirts are $15 and the sweaters are $30. Duh. Peter: You aren't stupid, Paige, just weird. Paige: Come back! You still haven't told me how to solve the problem!

## gimmickgenius over 15 years ago

Who knew Peter was that smart? Putting a dollar sign in front of it ALWAYS makes math more interesting.

## JerryGorton over 15 years ago

She’s a shopper!

## RobinHd over 15 years ago

What gets me is, this is an actual Real Life application of algebra!!

… and they said it couldn’t happen ….

## JonD17 over 15 years ago

Wow, Peter, where did that come from? Your teachers would fall out their chairs!

## dcguys over 15 years ago

This is how we raised my nephew’s grade point by 1.5 when he was 11. We used money on the table, price lists of the toys/games he wanted, and his first savings account. His mom wasn’t happy that she had to help out with the savings account when he came home after his visit that summer but was pleased they didn’t have to spend so much time on homework anymore.

Ahhh, the joys of being the uncle, not the parent.

## ForeverAllstar over 15 years ago

Amend must be a math and science wonk, he uses it all the time

## Machtyn over 15 years ago

ForeverAllStar: He is a geek. He spends his time playing World of Warcraft now. :)

## tobybartels over 15 years ago

My algebra students can learn to handle the original problem, but nearly every one will freeze up at the sight of a word problem. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's about something that interests them.

## mrprongs over 15 years ago

Paige is stupid and weird. She’s Steird.

## R.Khalife over 15 years ago

peter knows how to speak paige’s lanuage..if only she realised the connection btween ther homework n his help :p both smart in thier own way :p

## nokbbear over 15 years ago

simultaneous equations

## bluetopazcrystal over 15 years ago

ForeverAllstar says:

ForeverAllstar says:

Amend must be a math and science wonk, he uses it all the time

Bill has a Bachelors Degree in Physics. So there you go.

## Geekologist over 15 years ago

Wrong Peter, shes stupid, but good at real life math.

## Karptaz over 15 years ago

that was THE ONLY way my neice could do algebra was to turn everything into shoes and money - lol

## wowfactor over 15 years ago

thanks, bill! keep teaching parents how to teach their kids by KNOWING them.

## David Kannikal Premium Member over 15 years ago

Am I the only one who was compelled to write the problem down and solve it? Had to dig deep in the brain vault for the balancing equations knowledge…

## scbassist over 15 years ago

For all you algebra illiterate:

2x + y - 60 = x + 2y - 75

2x + y + 15 = x + 2y

2x/y + 1 + 15/y = x/y + 2

2x/y + 15/y = x/y + 1

2 + 15/x = 1 + y/x

1 + 15/x = y/x

x + 15 = y

x = y - 15

2(y - 15) + y = 60

2y - 30 + y = 60

3y = 90

y = 30

x + 2(x + 15) = 75

x + 2x - 30 = 75

3x = 45

x = 15

## R.Khalife over 15 years ago

im sorry scbassist but johndrake made that math alot easier for me…altho i still say peters way may be the best way yet :p

## farren over 15 years ago

Yeah, but scbassist’s will work even if the “y”s don’t cancel out.

## SirTalksALot over 15 years ago

Another way to solve it

2x + y = 60 –given

y = 60 - 2x –solve for y

x + 2y = 75 –given

x + 2(60 - 2x) = 75 –replace y with 60-2x

x + 120 - 4x = 75 –distribute 2

120 - 3x = 75 –simplify

120 = 3x + 75 –add 3x to both sides

120 - 75 = 3x –subtract 75 from both sidex

45 = 3x –simplify

x = 15 –divide both sides by 3

2x + y = 60 –given

2(15) + y = 60 –replace x with 15

30 + y = 60 –multiply

y = 60 - 30 –subtract 30 from both sides

y = 30 –simplify

## farren over 15 years ago

Of course you can, that’s basic. JohnDrake, however, left off a lot of the steps, and didn’t solve for y at all. Not that he was

wrong, but he was oversimplified.## PaulAtreides over 15 years ago

Pie = Good Math = Not Pie :(

## kgadowsky over 15 years ago

Excellent to explain the disconnect in how we currently teach mathematics!

## Rakkav over 15 years ago

The disconnect (it seems to me) lies in concrete versus abstract thinking. Paige can’t deal with algebra in abstract terms, but she can when she’s given a concrete problem. My mother was like that. I’m the reverse: abstractions are easy, it’s the concrete that’s harder.

## BigAlanM over 15 years ago

Page’s thought process: From Peter’s statements in the third panel, exchanging 1 shirt for 1 sweater costs an extra $15 therefor exchanging the second shirt for a third sweater will make the bill $90. Sweaters obviously cost $30 apiece. Going back to the first statement and subtract 1 sweater and 2 shirts cost $30 or $15 apiece.

## carriebethdunbar over 15 years ago

Shirt Math

## n8cwhite almost 8 years ago

By going back to middle school.

## Extension Cord over 1 year ago

That. Is. Easy!

## kevinchang256 about 1 year ago

Peter: You already solved it yourself. Paige: Huh? I did?