Story Problems

“Think Like A Lawyer”

While studying for the LSAT, my book recommends applying all the skills used in the test to real life. So here it goes:

(Answers at the end.)

Logical Reasoning Questions:

  1. Alhadji: I have always wanted to marry a white person and have white babies-we should marry!

What most weakens Alhadji’s argument?

a. I am not interested

b. But you already have a wife.

c. You already have children.

d. I have a rare medical condition that has destroyed my womb and cannot have children.

e. You cannot afford me.


  1. Alhadji: I don’t have 25 CFA to buy water-give me money!

All would weaken Alhadji’s argument EXCEPT:

a. He then buys a chicken for 3000 CFA

b. He is wearing a fancy boubu (~65000 CFA)

c. He owns multiple cows (~10000 ea.)

d. He pays to eat some fish for 2000 CFA

e. He is sitting by the side of the road.


  1. Alhadji: We should marry!

Me: How many wives do you already have?

Alhadji: 4.

Me: Ah! Ah! You’re finished, no?

What is the principle that best supports the above?

a. A Muslim man may have no more than four wives.

b. A Muslim man must have four wives.

c. A Muslim man can have four wives.

d. It is important to check for other wives before accepting a marriage proposal.

e. One should not marry a man with four wives.


  1. In order to justify asking for its annual budget, Peace Corps has recently focused on data collection and implemented new procedures. These procedures involve forms that collect participant’s name, age and other relevant information. With these sheets, data collection will be more efficient and accurate.

A flaw in the argument can be described as:

a. Presupposes what it seeks to establish

b. Overlooks the possibility that many people in village are illiterate and do not know their age

c. Relies on the ambiguity of the term “data collection”

d. The evidence undermines the conclusion

e. Mistakes correlation for causation


  1. Most cars seat only five people. Yet most cars on the Tibati-Ngaoundal route easily transport over ten people each trip.

What best explains the apparent paradox?

a. People do not use seats.

b. The cars drive really fast.

c. Most people sit two to a seat or on each other’s laps.

d. People are really skinny here.

e. People do not use seat belts.


  1. Man on the street, talking on the phone: “Madame! This man says he knows you.” *thrusts phone at me*

Me: Hello? Who is this?

Man on phone: Ismali

Me: ???

Man on phone: Ismali…we were in a car together in December. You do not remember me?

Me: No…

Ismali’s argument follows logically if what is assumed?

a. I was in a car last December with a man named Ismali

b. There is an Ismali in my region

c. I was in a car in December

d. I remember everyone that I meet on public transportation

e. I have a bad memory for names


Analytical Reasoning Questions:

PCV Jess has six activities that can be done today—laundry, cleaning, visiting Jeannette, meeting with the women, visiting neighbors, and eating lunch—within the following restrictions:

Jeanette will be visited directly before any meeting with the women because otherwise it will be impossible to mobilize the women.

If neighbors are visited third, they will give copious amounts of couscous and sauce and so she will eat lunch with the neighbors.

Laundry, if done, is always first.

If she cleans her house, it will be immediately after laundry.

  1. What is an acceptable order of PCV Jess’ activities?







  1. If it rains, forcing PCV Jess to cancel laundry and the meeting with the women, what is an acceptable order of activities?

a. LCE

b. VEJ

c. CEL

d. EJM

e. CJM


  1. What order of activities CANNOT be true?

a. Jess does absolutely nothing all day.

b. She only visits Jeannette and eats lunch.

c. She only visits the neighbors and eats lunch.

d. She only cleans her house and eats lunch.

e. She only does laundry and cleans her house.


Reading Comprehension Questions: 

It is not uncommon to see women breastfeeding in public here in Cameroon. In fact, at this point in my service, it seems stranger that it is so tabooed in the United States, especially after knowing all its benefits.

Although some women do not start breastfeeding the day of birth, this is due to a misconception that is potentially harmful to the baby. The first milk of a woman produces for her baby, the colostrum, may be strange in color—causing some to think it is tainted—but is actually very rich in nutrients and antibodies. The milk is so rich, that some even call it the baby’s “first vaccine.”


  1. What can be inferred from the passage?

a. Breastfeeding is illegal in the United States.

b. Breastfeeding is mandatory.

c. Breastfeeding is better than vaccines.

d. Some women do not give their babies their colostrum.

e. All women breastfeed.


  1. What is the author’s purpose in including the quote at the end of the second paragraph?

a. To quote an expert opinion

b. To emphasize the nutrients in the colostrum

c. To emphasize the importance of the colostrum

d. To highlight the importance of breastfeeding

e. To highlight the importance of vaccines



1. D; 2. E; 3. A; 4. B; 5. C; 6. D.

1. D; 2. B; 3. D.

1. D; 2. C.

Story Problems

Story Problems: Mengong Edition

Time for a little quiz.

Part I: Things Go Bump in the Night

  1. At 2 AM you are awoken by a strange noise that is definitely coming from your room. After confirming it is definitely not a person, you realize it must be one of the following options:

A) Rat

B) Mouse-like creature

C) Cockroaches

D) Something else?

More importantly, what do you do?

  1. At what hour does the rooster crow?

A) Before sunrise

B) Sunrise

C) After sunrise

D) Midday

E) Evening

F) Night

D) Midnight

Part II: On the Road


  1. On a journey to Ebolowa, the regional capital (aka land of cheese and all the food), you discover a man with what appears to be a soft serve ice cream machine. Excited about the idea of stuffing your face with ice cream after almost two weeks without, you eagerly buy some. The man hands you a cup of pink ice cream and you take a bite. What flavor is this pink ice cream?

A) Bubblegum

B) Strawberry

C) Pepto Bismol

D) Prune

  1. Monday morning while on your 6 AM jog you notice a crowd of people on the usually deserted road. Coming closer you realize a giant truck had crashed and was lying on its side. Curious you run even closer, what are the people doing?

A) Helping the driver

B) Rubber-necking

C) Drinking

D) Celebrating

Part III: Miscellaneous

  1. Last Thursday when I placed the Sorting Hat upon my head, to what region did it send me?

A) Adamawa

B) The East

C) The Northwest

D) The Center

6. Translate the following to English:
A) “Small small catch monkey”

B) “Ma belly don flop”

C) “Jam na”

D) “Pookaradgle”


  1. If A), you are now the proud new owner of giant rat. Recommendations: Kill with poison or a machete. Bonus: You can eat the meat. (Congrats!)

If B), you possibly have a mouse or something like that. Can be identified by its small droppings either mouse-like or spaghetti-like. Recommendations: Kill with poison. (Hopefully host mother does not step on it.) Bonus: At least it is not a rat? (Although you can’t eat it, bummer.)

If C), you are now the host of a species that can survive an atomic bomb. Recommendations: Kill with insecticide or wait until it dies on its own and then sweep away. Bonus: You can also eat them!

If D), good luck champ.

  1. Trick question. Roosters crow at all hours of the day. All those children’s books about life on the farm are lies. Good luck trying to sleep!
  1. C) Pepto Bismol. Mmm yummy. Definitely would not buy again. Bonus: Maybe it will calm an upset stomach?
  1. C & D. Why? It was a beer truck! Ergo, everyone was drinking and collecting all the free beer with their hands, baskets and wheelbarrows. According to a friend, his family had woken up at 4 AM to start drinking and collecting (we believe the accident occurred sometime around 3ish). The kind people offered me a beer, but I explained that it was difficult to drink and run at the same time. (Also 6 AM still seemed a bit too early for a beer, its better to wait until at least 8 AM.) Overall, it was a day of frivolity and festivity. In the words of some of the villagers, “God has blessed the village!”
  1. Adamawa! I will be in the northern part of the country in a small village of about 1,200 that is half Christian and half Muslim. Karen, the PCV who I am replacing, was only there for about a year so it will be as though I am quasi-opening a site, which gives me a lot of flexibility in projects as the village can benefit from all aspects of the PC health goals. She has only positive things to say about the village and is also possibly the kindest human on the planet. She told me the other day she was going to stock up on toilet paper, water and food for me so I will not have to worry about those things when I first move in. Also I get to adopt her cat, Metis. My days as a cat lady will begin very soon. Being in this region also means I have to learn a new language: Fulfuldé! I’ve only had one class so far, but hopefully foreign languages are easier to learn third time around. We also have to keep up our French, thus French is the language of instruction.
  1. A) “Small, small, catch monkey” – Little by little you will succeed. (Pidgin English)

B) “Ma belly don flop” – I’m full (hence the belly not flopping around. Pidgin is logical in the least intuitive way and is also possibly the most amusing language to hear.)

C) Jam na – Hello/Good day (Fulfuldé)

D) Pookaradgle – Student/Trainee (Fulfuldé)

Other notes:

-People can use Facetime to call me and as long as they are using Wi-Fi it is free for both of us. (Message for more details, like my digits.)

-We have site visits next week, which means we get to visit and stay with current PCVs and see what life is like at post.

-Next week will also commence the month without Wi-Fi, as we won’t be heading to Ebolowa for several weeks. Please excuse the brief hiatus from the blog and assume that I am alive and eating beniets.