Liz Stockwell

Liz Stockwell has a PhD in zoology from the University of Washington and lives in Burnaby, British Colombia. After experiencing the hectic pace of combined teaching, parenting, and academic life, she decided to be home with her two young children full-time. In her off-hours, she squeezes in writing projects (occasionally!) and enjoys exploring the forest and seashore with her family.

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Most Recent Articles

May 4, 2011
A few days ago I ran into a friend at a coffee shop, and as we waited in line for our drinks we chatted about the Canadian federal elections that were held on Monday this week. Having recently become a Canadian citizen, he was thrilled to vote in Canada for the first time. I was at first a little taken aback when he asked me if it was obligatory to vote in Canada (it’s not), and I wondered what it would be like to vote in a country where one was compelled to do so by law.
April 20, 2011
As a parent I think a lot about keeping my children safe. When they’re with me I do what I can with safety tips, always hoping that I’m teaching them lessons they’ll remember when we’re apart. Though I’m not sure how best to do this, I try to help them develop good “antennae”, to know to get away from a situation when it doesn’t feel right. I can only hope that, without making them fearful and suspicious, they’ll get it. But sometimes that’s not enough.
April 6, 2011
Ah, spring break! No school lunches to prepare, no early morning breakfasts to make, no lightning launches out the door to catch the bus, and no shuttling to piano and karate lessons. We joined the throngs of people crowding the airport for holidays in the sun. Our travel plans were less exotic, but we were just as excited to spend 10 days at my parents’ house.
March 16, 2011
Illinois decision to decouple IT chain of command from the academic one, and resignation of a displeased CIO, sparks debate on "centralized" technology.
February 23, 2011
Ok, maybe mad is a little strong to describe how I feel about the Hogwarts hero and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. But they’ve thrown a wrench into our bedtime reading routine. What can we possibly read now to replace the excitement of the Harry Potter saga? Is there life after Hogwarts?
February 9, 2011
Our stubborn refusal to go with the flow may have put our son in an awkward position. This month kids in grades 4 and 7 in British Columbia schools, both public and private, began taking the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests mandated by the provincial government, ostensibly as a tool for parents, teachers, and administrators to see whether children can do the basics such as reading and arithmetic.
January 19, 2011
This weekend I found myself in the neighborhood of my favorite gourmet cookware store, and with no kids in tow, I was free to browse the kitchen gadgets, spices, and cookbooks at my leisure. It was a busy day for the shop, and there was no parking available within a three-block radius. Not wanting to drive around the block again, I tried a spot near the storefront. The curb was partly painted yellow to mark a driveway, but I hoped I could fit most of my car into the space.
January 5, 2011
Two days left of our Christmas break and I found myself scrambling. I needed to catch up on all I’d planned to do over the holidays, but I also wanted to get ahead a little bit. Dinner the other night was homemade macaroni and cheese, which happens to be my son’s favorite thing to pack in a thermos in his lunchbox. Phew! The first back-to-school lunch accomplished, two nights before I had to worry about it.
December 8, 2010
No time of the year more clearly reminds me of my ineptitude as a correspondent than the Christmas season. For as long as I can remember, I’ve intended every year to send out holiday cards. Some years I’ve managed to send one or two before Christmas, but usually if I send anything we’re well into the New Year. “Hope your year is off to a good start,” I’ll write. One year I set up a special card-holder to display all the Christmas cards we might receive.
November 24, 2010
My part of the world, Vancouver, B.C., is full of weather wimps, and I count myself among them. We like our mild winters with occasional drizzle and no more than a 10-degree (5 degrees, if we’re talking Celsius) daily temperature fluctuation, thank you. In the summer, if the temperature rises above 80, we complain about the heat. There’s a great term used by biologists that applies to us: we’re stenothermic, able to tolerate only a narrow range of temperatures. And so, this week’s record cold in Vancouver (about 18° F for a daytime high today) is catching many of us off guard.

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