« on: March 11, 2005, 12:05:54 PM »
True story: I was in gym class in seventh (I think) grade, and the teacher had to break the class into two groups, one for calisthenics and the other for basketball. EVERYONE, of course, wanted to play basketball. So the teacher said, OK, line up, and anyone who can show me they can already do 20 push-ups can skip calisthenics and play basketball.
So the kids formed a line and, as usual, some brownnosers dashed to the front of the line, some delinquents sauntered to the back, and most kids ended up somewhere in the middle. And the teacher began administering the 20 push-up test. And what happened is, with the first few kids, he was really strict about what constituted a "push-up." He made the kids let their bodies go down to within an inch of the floor but declared "no push-up" if the chest touched the floor for even a second. Any resting disqualified the kid. And the teacher watched like a hawk and barked instructions and made the kids nervous. The first several kids didn't make it to 20.
After the first few kids had failed, the teacher was losing interest and no one was qualifying for basketball, so the teacher eased up. Anything close to a push-up counted. Kids were passing the test left and right.
When the line got near the end, though, things changed again. Half the period was gone already and the teacher wanted to wrap things up, so he began looking for reasons to disqualify kids. One kid was sent to calisthenics just because he didn't start doing push-ups as soon as his name was called. Plus the teacher already had enough kids for basketball and didn't need more. Very few of the delinquents at the end of the line got to play basketball.
Moral of the story: apply in the early-middle part of the cycle, not the very beginning or towards the end.