April 6, 2001

[This ramble is taken from an actual e-versation that I had with Ray Stephens about making sense of College Algebra and is not for the faint of heart.  (He offered to be my tutor, da silly muttonhead...)  Thanks for the laughs, Rayla!  =)]

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Okay, Ms. Kelly....
Here's your first Algebra lesson...
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Man !!!
I can't even type that word now without seeing a bikini in my head!!!  
"ALGE-BRA"  .... I think that has potential...... hmmmmmm....
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Okay... back to class.... 

There are X Shiners in my fridge.
There are Y Doc Otis's in my fridge.
There are Z Fat Tires somewhere at your house.
There are just as many Shiners in the fridge as Doc Otis's...

Okay....
Now...
I had 2 Shiners at the restaurant tonight with food.
I'm having 1 Doc Otis right now at home.
I don't have a clue as to how many FT's you have had.
With me so far?

Good...
Okay....
Now...

Ooops.... finissssshhhhhhed that Doc Otis already....
So... nowwwwwww....
(sound of steps to the kitchen... fridge opens... shuts... steps back)
I had 1 Doc Otis shince I got home.
And I'm having another now as we shpeak...
But, tha's okay....
We can shtill solve the problem...

See... now tha's 2 Doc Otis's from the shtash in the fridge...

Okay...
What we want to know is thish... 

If there are shtill 6 Shiners in the fridge...
AND....
If you and Jeff have finished off ALL of the FT's he brought home...
THEN...
How many Doc Otis's are left in the fridge?

Here's how you get the answer...
(sound of steps to the kitchen... fridge door opens... count 'em....
fridge door shuts.... sound of steps back to the computer)

 THE ANSWER IS.....

Oh, shit.... I forgot already..... here we go again... hang on....
(steps to fridge... open... count... hold up fingers... shut... steps)

OKAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!
THE ANSER IZZZ......

Shit!
Looks like I have 8 fingers on my right hand....
THAT can't be right.... can it???

You know whut....
I think I started out with a problem that is mucsh too difficult for you
anyway.... 
at this junctshure.... 
so.... 
how 'bout we jus' call it a nite...
and we'll start over tomorrow.... k?   K!!!

Say g'nite, Gracie!!!
You, too, Dick!
'nite

RayYA (giggle... tha's funny!!!)
LYARaYaLYA

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Heya, Raya,

Okay, time to tell you how my very first Algebra class went.  You'll have to
wait and do this at home though, as I am going to use your same example to
illustrate how one would find the midpoint between your fridge and your
computer.

First:  Go to the fridge and get out a Doc Otis.  This will represent my instructor.  (Imagine that the bottle has protruding, wild eyes, peach fuzz and sneakers on.)  Open it very slightly, then flip it in the air, because Doc is about to do handsprings, he is just soooo happy to be teaching this math class.

Now, get some masking tape and make a huge grid out of your living area.  Pick
some arbitrary place, say the sofa, to mark as the point of origin, or "zero"
point.  Walk from the fridge to your computer, counting how many steps you
make.  We'll call your fridge "x1,y1" and your computer is "x2,y2".  Got that?
Make a mental note on your hands of how many steps you took.  This might come in
handy later.  Get a beer and down it.  Here's where the fun begins!  (Give Doc a toss....just
saying "x" makes him very bouncy!)

Now, make imaginary lines with duct tape along the points of your fridge and your computer, crosswise from the sofa.  Find the friggin midpoint (what?) and make imaginary duct lines along that point, too.  You should now have one really big right triangle with two smaller right triangles right inside of it.  Toss Doc into the air again, because he is about to reveal something TRULY exciting.  These two smaller triangles are congruent!!  No, really!!!  They have the same angles, same size, all really similar!!  This I am supposed to remember from High School Geometry (which I didn't take, so I can ignore the Pygotherkousldkjlkj Theory altogether).   My loss.

Doc should be foaming at the mouth by now.  Okay, now here's the kicker....You can determine the midpoint by using a midpoint formula, which basically takes the two smaller and congruent triangle coordinates and halves them, or divides them or something!!  Damn, this is exciting!!  Toss Doc into the air again and make him skip across the computer desk.

Now, open the bottle of Doc Otis, VERY CAREFULLY, because he is about to 'lose his head,' this stuff is so damn cool.  (You will never drink Doc Otis the same way again....)

And, the answer to our WHOLE problem is....

 

KILL DOC OTIS, KILL DOC OTIS, KILL DOC OTIS!!!!!!

And, that, dahlink, is only my first day.  More joyful occasions await, I'm sure.
  
Gotta go do my homework now.  Got any Doc Otis???

LYAlgebraically,
:~)  April

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