Edit: Today I was shown how to break this down into multiple free-body diagrams, and introduced to Cramer's Rule. I'm in the process of reattempting this problem. Once I have a solution (and it's verified as correct) I will post it for others having similar trouble. I'm having a terrible time with this. It's my first assignment from a non-"plug the numbers into the formula for the right answer" physics class. I don't even know if I'm on the right track, and I feel like I'm over-complicating things. Any help is greatly appreciated. Please forgive my horrible handwriting, improper/incorrect notation, flubbed math, and general butchery of physics. (Edit - I also just realized in my second free body diagram I have the acceleration of 2m written as just the acceleration of m. Not that those diagrams are done well/correctly otherwise...) 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data http://usera.imagecave.com/hotrod73dart/homework/3.29.jpg 2. Relevant equations F=ma 3. The attempt at a solution Edit: Will post solution once it's verified.