Post-pandemic bucket list: Faculty edition

It’s been more than a year since some have stepped out to a restaurant or even shared a hug. As the CDC continues to update safety guidelines, and the world begins a slow march back to normal, people are looking forward to the day when the pandemic is over.

USA TODAY shared the ultimate post-pandemic bucket list with 100 things they can’t wait to do, compiled by the news agency’s Life editors and reporters. We decided to ask members of the FIU community what is on their post-pandemic bucket list and as it turns out, USA TODAY’s Life team may just have thought of everything.

USA TODAY No. 1 – Hug our friends.

“I miss hugs the most. I’m looking forward to showing affection when the moment calls for it.” – Hazel Hooker, program director of the Center for Student Engagement

USA TODAY No. 6 – Travel! Domestically and internationally. Without required quarantines upon arrival.

“I am most looking forward to traveling again. I want to see friends, go to scientific meetings and meet with my international collaborators.” – Matthew DeGennaro, associate professor of biological sciences

“I’m so excited to reconnect with my friends, family, routines, favorite places and work collaborations in Madrid, Warsaw and Melbourne.” – Phillip Carter, director of the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment, associate professor of English

Friends at a restaurant

USA TODAY No. 22 – Eat inside a restaurant without stressing about eating in said restaurant.

“I’m looking forward to having lunch, at a proper restaurant, with my four first-year Ph.D. students. I haven’t seen them in person since prospective student’s day over a year ago!” – Asia Eaton, professor of psychology

“We can’t wait to go to Yogurtland for sit-down ice cream time. We miss the Irish Pub environment, where we occasionally visit for a glass of Guinness.” – Assefa Melesse, professor of earth and environment

USA TODAY No. 27 – Delete Houseparty, Zoom and other video conferencing apps.

“While we have had regular zoom meetings and have been very productive, in spite of COVID, there is nothing better than team meetings in person. We often generated new research questions, discussed roadblocks, challenges, solutions and supported each other’s research efforts. We still do this now over zoom, but the energy and excitement felt for doing these things just has not been the same.” – Shannon Pruden, associate professor of psychology

“I am looking forward to being face to face with my students and colleagues. I really miss the interaction with the students.” – Brian Raue, associate dean of graduate studies in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, professor of physics

USA TODAY No. 32 – Go to a sporting event in a packed stadium.

“I have been to 13 MLB stadiums around the country and there are plenty more to see in 2022. I look forward to taking my son to his first MLB stadium this year at loanDepot Park to see the Marlins!” – Nicholas Smith, assistant teaching professor of counseling, recreation and school psychology

USA TODAY No. 33 – High-five strangers.

“Sit together during leisure time at my favorite scientific conference to chat with fellow attendees that I either just met or have known for 40 years.” – Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh, director of the Biomolecular Sciences Institute

USA TODAY No. 48 – Plan for the future!

“I look forward to sitting the captain chair in the FIU “Star Trek Bridge” control room at the Stocker AstroScience Center, envisioning new plans for our state-of-the-art FIU planetarium.” Fiorella Terenzi, associate teaching professor of physics

“I am most looking forward to new and innovative ways to do education. I am hopeful that educators will not only engage both themselves and students in multimodal learning but they will also leverage their students’ strengths that may have gone previously unrecognized.” – Ryan Pontier, assistant professor of teaching and learning

sending kid to school

USA TODAY No. 57 – Send our kids to school.

“I’m most looking forward to consistent and reliable childcare. The frequent closing of my youngest son’s preschool due to COVID-19, especially this spring, has been disruptive to maintaining our work-life balance. It’s been really difficult to put all of my responsibilities on hold while I spend two weeks watching Bubble Gubbies and playing with trains until his school reopens.” Angela Laird, director of the Center for Imaging Science, professor of physics

USA TODAY No. 69 – Get distracted at work by talking to coworkers about our lives.

“I most look forward to getting back in the classroom and labs with my students and colleagues.” – Heather Bracken-Grissom, assistant director of the Coastlines and Oceans Division, associate professor of biological sciences

What’s on your post-pandemic bucket list? Let us know by tweeting us @FIUCASE.