In an ongoing effort to protect loved ones and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, UOTP classes for the 6A semester will be held via an online format. Staff will continue to work remotely until April 30th and will be available for assistance during this time. Please contact us at [email protected] for any questions or concerns.

By Ed Avella
Campus Director & Dean of IT Programs

Like most people, I lament my life’s problems until I or someone close to me is burdened by true misfortune or calamity. Traffic causing an intolerable long commute, the unforeseen bill or expense, gas prices, even a mistake on a dinner order – things I have allowed myself to get frustrated or upset over, that in the scheme of things are absolutely insignificant, only put into perspective by real hardship.

Over the past month I have seen true distress; my wife struggling with a neurological condition that makes sleep and sometimes even thinking impossible; my Grandparents displaced from their home at the Jersey shore by Hurricane Sandy, a home they’ve lived in without incident since 1962.

…and my 22 year old daughter battling recurrent cancer.

What right do I have to feel encumbered by anything as trivial as intermittent phone service when my family around me is laboring through real difficulty.

I don’t. I’d trade with any one of them that they wouldn’t have to endure what life has thrust upon them. I know I cannot, but Thanksgiving week is teaching me a great lesson on humility and appreciation.

Rather than be redundant and offer advice to “appreciate what you got,” I am going to use this piece more selfishly and thank them as well as everyone that has been an important part of my life this past year or more.

I thank my wife for being more amazing every day and showing me infinite patience; for sometimes being the adult in our marriage! My house became a home the day she showed up.

I thank my daughter, for being my miracle. Her strength is indomitable.

I thank my mother and father, for trying so hard for so many years to teach me the lessons they knew I could only learn by screwing them up anyway!

I thank my in-laws because my wife’s perspicacity, grace and principles come from the best stock; the type of people that make you better for just being around them.

I thank my grandparents, for being the role model for love that every couple should witness.

I thank Laura, the President of University of the Potomac; for her leadership, the opportunity to be part of something really special and important, and proof that the term “changing lives” is not rhetoric or a marketing line.

I thank my colleague Deb, for her unbridled spirit and tenacity; a beacon of verve amidst a sea of “blah.”

I thank the entire leadership team; Laura, Walt, Deb, Linda, James, Tim, Theresa, Vickey, and Mike, plus recent additions Danny (who isn’t new, but just started showing up), David and Alexandra – for being the “brain” of my “storm.” I could easily add what each of them brings to my life as individuals, but better to keep out the specifics and protect the innocent!

I thank my team; Adrian, Kim, and Yasir – as well as my students, for however few they are extraordinary – for being my muse. They are my inspiration!

I thank my friends, who still respond to my career as an educator with, “Wait. What?” I thank them for always being there.

Most of all, I thank God. For giving me this life I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Be selfishly thankful this year for all you have…


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