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

October 26, 2011
It seems that women like me set a bad example for our daughters when we make decisions that sacrifice career pursuits for family balance.  I’m still reeling over a CBC radio piece
October 12, 2011
My six-year-old is too young to understand the impact Steve Jobs will have on her life. However, she unintentionally paid homage to him this past week with a special craft project of her own design and execution. With duct tape, scissors, and markers, she turned an old cardboard box into a laptop computer, complete with keyboard, touchpad, mouse, and Apple logo (in the appropriate orientation on the screen, of course). She and her friend decorated cardboard mouse pads and played computer store in our den. Computers are nothing out of the ordinary in their world.
September 28, 2011
Last Saturday, a head-banging tune on the car radio took me way back to my graduate school days. It’s interesting how music, even stuff I don’t particularly like, evokes old memories and feelings. The song was Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, played in honor of the twentieth anniversary of its release on September 16, 1991. Sometimes I need an external cue, like the radio announcer’s comments that an iconic song (and album) was twenty years old, to remind me of the passage of time. Was that really twenty years ago? I suddenly realized that Nirvana and I share an anniversary.
September 7, 2011
Sharing one’s dreams and nightmares with friends and family can usually be lots of fun for the teller but tedious for the audience subjected to a detailed narrative. That said, I just have to relate this one, a REM blip that encapsulated my feelings about trying to put my career back together after six years of full-time parenting. My apologies in advance.
August 24, 2011
I know that not everyone marks the passage of time by the start of a new school year. A childless, non-academic friend of mine, for example, expressed surprise about the increase in traffic around the local school. It had suddenly dawned on him that school had been out all summer and that the students were now back. I laughed at his story but realized that not everyone’s world revolves around back-to-school preparations at schools and universities (although the flurry of activity at retail stores suggests otherwise).
August 3, 2011
Few people make me laugh the way my family members do, especially my sister. Sometimes all it takes is a look or a single word to remind me of something from our childhood, and we break into hysterical laughter. We’re doing a lot of that these days, having converged at my parents’ house for a family reunion. These gatherings have become increasingly infrequent since I moved to the west coast and she moved to Europe. However, we do our best to make up for lost time, and just as the adults do, our children, who are close in age, pick up where they left off.
July 20, 2011
Perhaps it’s because I’m a parent and have a deep-rooted desire to keep my offspring well fed, but I still find it interesting that I’ve become a hoarder. Right now I have five buckets of raspberries (17 pounds before we gobbled up a few bowls full) sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be washed and set out on trays in the freezer for later packaging in freezer bags. Two weeks ago I processed six pails of strawberries. The best of the crop went into the fridge to be consumed fresh or made into tarts (my husband’s specialty), while the rest went into our winter freezer reserves.
July 6, 2011
Last weekend I treated my six-year-old to a mother-daughter shopping date in downtown Vancouver. She was on a quest for a fancy summer party dress, the kind that poofs out when the wearer twirls around. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and before hitting the big sale at a department store we sat on a park bench in the sun-dappled shade to eat hotdogs from a street vendor. “This is the best day ever,” my daughter said, and we both smiled, caught up in an idyllic moment.
June 15, 2011
My son and I recently found a new interest to share. It’s not something artistic such as singing, or athletic such as tae kwon do. No, instead my son and I both enjoy battling zombies together.Little did I suspect what would happen when I sat down next to my kids six weeks ago to watch them play a computer game. I didn’t understand the appeal; what could possibly have them so sucked in they couldn’t stop when their screen time was up for the day? I wanted to understand why they were so hooked, and I wanted to know what they were talking about.
May 25, 2011
For the past several months I’ve been stewing about balance and life goals. It seems to be my favorite topic for inner reflection as I ponder whether I’m being true to myself and to my family. As someone who left academia to care for my children full-time, I also question at times whether my views are relevant on this site devoted to higher education.


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