Photograph of Jill Bolte Taylor giving her TED talk

Wednesday Geek Woman: Jill Bolte Taylor, brain scientist and stroke survivor

This is a guest post by Kelly Seiler. Kelly blogs at Undercover Feminist. She is an electrical engineer working on the avionics for an unmanned airplane.

Submissions are currently open for Wednesday Geek Woman posts.

I first heard of Jill Bolte Taylor as a result of watching the free entertainment (which happened to be TED talks) on a Virgin Flight. I was rivited by her story. She recounts her experiences including the moment where she realizes she was having a stroke (10:35 mark):

“Oh my gosh! I’m having a stroke! I’m having a stroke! Wow! This is so cool. This is so cool. How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out? But, I’m a very busy woman! I don’t have time for a stroke!”

Photograph of Jill Bolte Taylor giving her TED talk

Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk, by Steve Jurvetson

Jill is an inspiration to me in so many ways. While still recovering her memories she taught a highly technical class. She stayed just ahead of the students in learning the material. Amazing!

If you haven’t heard of Jill, check out her TED talk where she recounts the morning of the stroke and it’s aftermath. She also spreads a wonderful message of letting go and living in the moment… she asks that we “Step to the Right” of our left hemisphere brain chatter – a reference to the profound peace and nirvana she experienced as she lost the function of the left half of her brain.

Her TED Talk: My Stroke of Insight
On the web: My Stroke of Insight
For an in depth look at Jill’s story check out her book: My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey

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3 thoughts on “Wednesday Geek Woman: Jill Bolte Taylor, brain scientist and stroke survivor

  1. ahimsa

    I bought Jill Bolte Taylor’s book in hardcover back when it first came out. Her story is absolutely amazing.

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