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My Stroke of Insight Essay

Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuro-anatomist who was able to study the occurrence of stroke as it happened to her. Instead of considering such situation as a hopeless case, Jill thought that what happened to her is a rare opportunity that only a handful of scientists would be able to experience: a massive stroke which she was able to study by observing her brain functions deteriorate one by one.

I chose Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My Stroke of Insight” because I think that what she experienced is something that not all of us would want and would be able to undergo. As such, picking her discussion and hearing her personal encounter with stroke itself would help me find out how she was able to survive the condition and manage to share her insights on overcoming brain injury and the possibility of getting out of it stronger than before. “My Stroke of Insight” provides a very interesting and inspirational perspective about life as a whole.

Not only did Bolte Taylor focused on her stroke experience as she discussed what the body is going through when one experiences stroke, but she also managed to give a detailed explanation of how the right and the left hemispheres function and what the said faculties go through during the course of the situation. Most importantly, the speaker inculcated within the minds of her audience how one can be the life force power of him- or herself and the universe with the presence of his or her cognitive mind and mental dexterity and by using the said entities in order to create the right choices and maintaining balance in life.

What adds up to the credibility and quality of the discussion is the fact that Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuro-anatomist who herself was able to experience brain injury. Standing in front of many individuals who have little idea about the human brain, she spoke about the possibilities of acquiring stroke or other brain injury despite one’s healthy condition and knowledge about a particular disease. She discussed the subject with clarity and energy, making the whole presentation truly venerating to watch and listen to.

Four important points of Bolte Taylor’s discussion highlighted her overall talk. The first point encompasses her description of the condition of her brother who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. From here, one can easily point out that Jill’s strong pursuit and advocacy for understanding the human brain was rooted from her brother’s mental condition which caused him to detach from reality and somehow deprived him of the ability to function normally in the society.

The second point involves her discussion of the differing functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which gives the audience an overview of how the brain processes information and how we as individuals are connected with the world through our brains. The third part is centered on her personal account with stroke; detailing each and every aspect of the slow deterioration of her left hemisphere, that alternatingly brought her to the dimension of reality and her so called “lala land,” and finally surrendering herself to the condition.

The last part pertains to her recovery and discovery. Her recovery from the condition that took her eight years to complete also paved the way for her to discover that people need not to experience stroke in order to develop a heightened sense of awareness of energy and connection with their surroundings; rather, in a normal state, one can also collaborate the functions of his or her right and left hemispheres in order to create the right choices about life as a whole.

Personally, I believe that the four parts mentioned above highlighted the talk because there are strong connections between each of the idea. From Jill’s pursuit to understand the brain, she was able to culminate her experience into the idea that what she has gone through is an opportunity to post-modernly investigate the human brain; by doing so, she was able to align each of the four ideas methodically for the audience to grasp the experience themselves. Though Jill Bolte Taylor touched the functions of the brain, I still wanted to learn more about the human mental faculty.

Likewise, I wanted to learn about the circuitry of stepping into the consciousness of both the right and the left hemispheres in order to finally discover and become the life force power of my own moment as an individual without experiencing stroke or any other brain injury. In this way, I may be able to attain the balance that Jill was able to experience.

Work Cited TEdtalks. “Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight. ” Online Video Clip. Technology, Entertainment Design (TED). Feb. 2008. 7 Apr. 2009 <http://www. ted. com/index. php/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight. html>.


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