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Language Centres And Migraines


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I've been working on a series of work books for teaching English, for over twenty years.  During this time I've suffered severe migraine attacks.  I believe the two may be related because as I collate material for the various books, I notice a growing pain in my left temple that when it becomes full blown, appears centred behind my left ear hole.  It could however be to do with anger, which started at the same time and is based on necessary quiet to do all this that I don't always get.

 

My question is, does this indicate a language processing area in this region / regions and why should it lead to a migraine - does anyone out there know?  Also apart from Migraine selective headache pills, is anything else shown to help stave off this kind of attack, dietary wise?  I take magnesium pills which may have had an effect but once the attack begins nothing really works except going to bed.

 

Interesting other symptoms include joint cracking, stiff neck (left side again), calf cramps (tension / stress), indigestion / constipation (body processes slowed down through intense concentration?), itching within left ear (again) and tinnitus on that side of the head too.  I also get odd taste sensations and would have made a good subject for anything studying these kind of headaches at one time but nobody took me up on it!

Edited by pagetheoracle
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Migraines can, I understand, be induced by stress. From what you have said here that seems to be a plausible explanation. I would be mildly surprised to learn that it was induced by specific activity in a specific part of the brain. (Obviously migraines are triggered in a particulat locale, but that is not what you are talking about, I think.)

 

If I may venture a personal query - twenty years, on the same project? I mean I prevaricate, but it looks as if you could challenge me on that point.

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Migraines can, I understand, be induced by stress. From what you have said here that seems to be a plausible explanation. I would be mildly surprised to learn that it was induced by specific activity in a specific part of the brain. (Obviously migraines are triggered in a particulat locale, but that is not what you are talking about, I think.)

 

If I may venture a personal query - twenty years, on the same project? I mean I prevaricate, but it looks as if you could challenge me on that point.

Well should we say I enthused, got disappointed with the (lack of) response, destroyed everything; got enthused again and restarted the cycle.  This is why it has been an ongoing project.  Each book took about three months to compile.  I've rewritten the first book several times and the whole series only once (7 volumes plus a junior version).  Every time I approach it, it evolves so that the format changes as I discover something new about the language or how to approach (every problem discloses that it is just different material mixed in with another that needs to be separated or displayed differently)*.  I now have a publisher but my ideas are still slow to get off the ground (literacy, rather than any other approach is proving worthwhile i.e. second language, secondary education, remedial or adult education per se).  I have a publisher now of sorts (Print on Demand but becoming legitimate), so even if I give up on the project again or feel I'm not getting anywhere, the material will be able to have a life of its own and grow or fail, despite my negativity to the situation.

 

Stress, yes from the intense concentration and maybe the anger was secondary to that.

 

*For instance I've just completed the material for volume 2A (again), thinking I knew how to order it, only to discover the start page and found this approach doesn't really work! (See also Newton thread from me you replied to and imperfection).

Edited by pagetheoracle
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OK, I feel the migraine subject has been dealt with as far as it can be for the moment. So I now propose moving the discussion formally to where we seem to have taken it: Why are you having such difficulty completing this work?

 

When you write this material what approach do you use?

 

  1. Start at the beginning and work through to the end.
  2. Write portions down as they come to you and put in the right order from time to time.
  3. Construct a detailed, multi-level outline, then populate it progressively.
  4. Some other approach.

In my experience, unless you have a real winner in 4., the only one that offers efficiency and effectiveness is number 3.

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What I do is start at the beginning and work through to the end, in order to collect the material needed in bulk.  I then sift through it after this general approach, in order to refine it further, suggested by examination of the material as I am working my way through it.  I do have a general idea where I am going but it cannot be detailed at the start as this is unknown territory, requiring extensive surveys of the material, to decide what belongs where (like an autopsy or sewing a road kill victim back together again).

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My own view, as I noted earlier, is to use approach three. If you wish I can demonstrate this for you. Please choose a topic - absolutely any will do, but ideally one that might wind up being say around 100 pages long.

Not necessary unless you really want to as it is your joy to show what you're enthusiastic about (The unknown as a subject).

 

For me language is one of my pursuits and as I like to tidy things up, I'm going through dictionaries and other reference books, rearranging the material so it can be used as a teaching device (and as it is by a few now, thanks to me on Facebook as an advertising medium and Pinterest as a storage facility for samples, plus my publisher for expanding the works).

 

If I'm not back tonight, it is because of the Paris shootings and my disgust being put on Twitter

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My method is to go through the material at hand, looking for common denominators as my old Maths teacher suggested.  Once found I collect them together and further subdivide what I've found into different classes and subclasses of words as with species or family trees, to ensure that the student using this material is not forced to deal with overwhelming amounts of material.  This is work books as a format, using comparison to display differences and similarities.  It is not theoretical, pointing out how language works but practical.  I thank people like Dr Johnston, Webster's dictionary and Collins as my predecessors in collecting this material together but as a teaching aid it needed to be radically rearranged for spelling and pronunciation patterns to be displayed, plus meaning to follow these as a more recognizable component.

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