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

November 26, 2008
When I was 17, I wrote an essay entitled “Why I do not want to have children.” My seemingly prescient mother saved it, along with other high school memorabilia, and when I came across the essay a few years ago I was amazed at the depth of feelings I’d developed at such a young age. The gist of the paper was that although I loved kids, I didn’t feel that I was capable of having both a family and a career, and I really wanted to focus on becoming a biologist. I pointed out that I knew many women who very successfully combined career and parenting, but I didn’t feel that I could.
November 12, 2008
I know that my mother and mother-in-law laugh at me behind my back. After all, I’ve taken some pretty ridiculous stands in the name of feminism since my daughter was born. To my mother-in-law I implored: “Please. No pink or frills or lace. I know she’s your first granddaughter, but I want to go easy on the girly-girl stuff.” Ha! Somewhere around age two my daughter mysteriously gravitated toward ruffles, lace, and sparkles, despite my best efforts to steer her toward practical, sporty, gender-neutral clothing.
October 22, 2008
At breakfast Monday morning my husband came downstairs to announce that he’d thought of something for his Christmas list. Hurray, I thought, quickly grabbing pen and paper to write down an idea from the world’s most difficult person to shop for. “I need a new dive watch,” he said. “Oh, great,” was my sarcastic response. “Something nice and cheap.” We agreed that it was probably too extravagant a gift and that we’d have to see if we could afford it. But our son suddenly chimed in from his waffle:
October 1, 2008
I do a lot of writing in the shower. Well, no, not actually writing things down on waterproof paper or writing on the tile walls with bathtub crayons (although that might not be such a bad idea). Instead my brain is abuzz composing paragraphs, writing lines for blogs, and thinking about proposals for projects. I’m supposed to be zipping in and out for a quick scrub, but needless to say, my showers are sometimes longer than they should be because I get lost in thought.
September 10, 2008
The patch of woods outside my front door is in trouble. After we moved into our neighborhood four years ago, my husband and I, along with several other community members lobbied hard for an elementary school to serve our growing population. Be careful what you wish for, I guess. Last spring the school district announced plans to build a new elementary school in our community, but we learned that the playing field for the school will cut right through our favorite patch of forest.
August 6, 2008
“Where is Dad?” my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter asked the morning after we returned home from vacation. “He’s gone back to work,” I replied. “Oh,” she said, and then there was a pause, while the gears turned in her little head. Suddenly she announced, “Work is for hes.” “What!?” I gasped. “Work is for hes…for dads. Dads do work. Moms don’t go to work.”
July 15, 2008
I've been away from teaching for four years now, since our relocation to the Vancouver area and the subsequent birth of my second child (events which happened within three months of each other--talk about pre-natal nesting anxiety!). But recently a sessional lecturer position for this coming fall opened up at my neighborhood university. The class, vertebrate biology, was right up my alley and I've taught some of the material before as a graduate student and as a lecturer. But somehow I didn't jump all over this opportunity like I would have five or six years ago.
June 25, 2008
I had two visitors this month, one expected—my dad—and other unexpected -- myself at age 11. It wasn’t exactly an encounter with a ghost from the past but a photo of me as a child asleep in my father’s arms. The image was a surprise in many ways. My father received it out of the blue from a friend he hadn’t seen in over twenty years, and my dad and I had no idea it existed.
June 3, 2008
Before our first child was born we prepared to be parents in ways that academics always prepare for big projects: extensive reading and research, lists of necessary equipment, plan for implementation (i.e., the birth plan), the “lab” organized (i.e., change table at proper height, clean diapers and wipes within optimum reach).
May 13, 2008
Last month my son’s first grade class did a unit on plants, seeds, and fruits. When his teacher sent home an assignment to collect a dozen different kinds of seeds, I was more excited than my son was. Since I was a little girl, I’ve collected seeds and seedpods from all over the world, and I offered to lend my collection to the classroom.

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