Viii

Learning

I have always thought it was interesting that when people are arguing about a point that doesn't matter, they say "It's academic." John Grinder and I were forced to leave teaching at the University of California because we were teaching undergraduates to do things in their lives. That was the complaint against us. They said school was only for teaching people about things.

When I was an undergraduate, the only courses I did badly in were psychology and public speaking. I flunked psychology 1A, and I got a "D" in public speaking! How's that for a joke? NLP is my revenge.

In my contacts with educators, I've noticed that the people who teach a subject may be very good at it, and know a tot about that particular area. However, they usually know very little about how they learned it, and even less about how to teach it to someone else. I went to a lecture in a beginning chemistry class once. The professor walked up in front of 350 people and said, "Now I want you to imagine a mirror here, and in front of the mirror is a DNA helix molecule, rotating backwards." Some people in the room were going "Ahhh!" They became chemists. Some people in the room were going "Huh?" They did not become chemists. Some people in the room were going "Urghh!" They became therapists!

That professor had no idea that most people can't visualize in the detailed way that he did. That kind of visualization is a

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