CSU Service 1973 to 2008
Faculty, School of Social Work
"Retirement" is an opportunity to give unique attention to the sharing that is a life. Since my colleagues celebrated the availability of my office, and the attention of a half dozen squirrels, Mary Jane and I have had more time to visit, eat, and travel without any sense of urgency. Our daughters have sensed the change in family rhythm and visit regularly, even as the granddaughters have entered early adulthood and have careers of their own. Time spent with friends is now more focused and based less on conversations while going elsewhere.
"Retirement" is customarily used in reference to paid employment. The values of a lifetime abide. Today, like most in the last sixty years, is something of a "busman’s holiday." I am still involved at Colorado State University with thesis and dissertation committees. I meet and opine with colleagues about the state of university education and the world; refer students to sources of current and historic information; and occasionally help someone find employment. I enjoy receiving news about how people are changing the world, and how the world is changing them.
The priority of social justice and social change burns hot as ever. I am more alarmed than ever that – justice and change – are used to exploit and manipulate. Many of us receive multiple solicitations each week asking for money to achieve justice and change without ever examining the causes of "the cause." That is one of the glories of living in our society. My current cause celebre is the betrayal of the mission by institutions. Since leaving classroom teaching, I have been invited to help in several quixotic projects involving groups of people wronged by organizations that claim to be their benefactors. My role has been to support situational analysis, and be a resource to recognize people’s dignity and rights, value their strategic insights, and focus their courage. The invitations have come from neighbors suffering in traditional areas of oppression – mistreatment based on diversity and access to housing and other resources. Those projects have been Quixotic because, though successful in rallying the hope and salvaging the quality of life of the participants, they have failing to increase the vitality of arrogant and sclerotic organizations, and advance institutional growth. But that incrementalism is part of the discovery process in social justice. It requires continual renewal.
Bruce encouraged us to challenge our beliefs and the various paradigms set before us. He challenged us to become true advocates even if we have to go against the majority. Thank you, Bruce, for your contribution to all of the social workers that have had the honor to have been in your classroom!
Crystal (Reynolds) Ruiz (Master of Social Work, '03)