The Big Question

What Public Spot Are You Most Interested in Returning to Post-pandemic, and Why?
Illustrations by Jason A. Keisling

John Cumings

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, A. James Clark School of Engineering

What I most want is to go out on a date with my wife, which seems crazy, given how much of our time is spent together at home. We’d probably just have dinner and then walk around until we’re tired.

Josh Davidsburg

Senior Lecturer, Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Movie theaters! One of the last movies I saw in a theater was “Queen of the Capital,” the documentary that I directed with the help of three students. There's no way to recreate the movie theater experience at home, no matter how hard you try—the popcorn is NEVER as good.

Julie Gabrielli

Clinical Associate Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

I dream of running again in the Baltimore Running Festival. The quirky neighborhood vibe makes for an unforgettable race. Halloween costumes and mimosas in Patterson Park, keg beer in Charles Village, a five-piece bluegrass band on 33rd Street. A woman in rainbow shorts and a Ravens jersey plays the “Rocky” theme on her trumpet. On this day, the runners own the city, and it puts on a glorious show.

Renee Hill

Principal Lecturer, College of Information Studies

The “spot” I am most looking forward to returning to post-pandemic is not a physical place. It’s the glorious spot where people smile at each other, shake hands upon greeting and part with hugs or high fives. The spot where human interaction is welcomed, not feared.

Ashish Kabra

Assistant Professor of Decision, Operations and Information Technologies, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Museums and board game bars. Where else do you think nerds go to socialize?

Isaac Leventon

Adjunct Lecturer, Fire Protection Engineering, A. James Clark School of Engineering

There is a unique energy (and distinct smell) in the frigid locker room of an old ice rink after a long skate. Normally, I coach a pair of hockey teams and skate with two more: I most look forward to being back there together.

Henry Lucas

Professor Emeritus of Information Systems, Robert H. Smith School of Business

The thing I’m looking forward to doing most after the pandemic is to have a safe meal in our favorite restaurant!

Roland Rust

Distinguished University Professor and David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing, Robert H. Smith School of Business

As a business professor with an extensive international network (including a part-time position at Erasmus University in the Netherlands) and a long-distance marriage (my wife works in Taiwan), travel is a major part of my life and career. Therefore, I am looking forward to spending more time at Dulles International Airport, which I jokingly refer to as my “home away from home.”

Christine M. Schaaf

Marketing Lecturer, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Capital One Arena to see the Washington Capitals play live hockey. As a lifelong hockey fan, I miss the excitement of live hockey where you feel the energy in the arena and cheer with other fans as they “Rock the Red.”

Rob Vaughn

Head Coach, Baseball Team

One of the best things about working here at the University of Maryland is the proximity to D.C. My wife and I have been to many concerts down in D.C. over the last 9 years—most of which are at the smaller, more quaint venues. Some of our favorites are the 9:30 Club, The Hamilton and the Lincoln Theatre. I'm looking forward to going to go back!

Idil Yaveroglu

Marketing Lecturer, Robert H. Smith School of Business

I am most interested in returning to campus and reuniting with students face to face. Even though online teaching has its benefits, I miss observing their body language, their curious eyes and their nodding heads while teaching.

Zeena Zakharia

Assistant Professor of International Education Policy, College of Education

The airport—no question. The moments after passing through security, and before boarding that final flight on the long journey home, are marked by anticipation and joy unique to homecoming. I long to stand in that space and embrace the promise of seeing my family again.

Jie Zhang

Harvey Sanders Fellow of Retail Management and Professor of Marketing, Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Performing artists’ lives and works have been completely upended by the pandemic. I long to see them going back to live performances and to cheer them on with other audience members.

Share your answer or suggest a future question in the Comment section.


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