Ruger Stocking is a senior theology major at Oklahoma Christian University. Stocking, who grew up as a child in Colorado and Wyoming, was born on April 2, 1999. He came to Oklahoma Christian because of swimming, but now Stocking has quit swimming and set his sights on post-graduation education.
Since quitting swimming, Stocking has competed on the ethics team for Oklahoma Christian, which recently defeated Yale. Apart from the ethics team, Stocking has placed most of his energy on getting into law school. Stocking says right now he has set his eyes on law school at the University of Oklahoma but is still keeping an open mind.
Stocking grew a love for foreign politics and law after he spent this past summer in South Africa working for a political party. According to Stocking, he is hoping to leverage his law degree to work in foreign politics in a way similar to what he did this summer. Looking back on his summer in South Africa, Stocking says he learned a lot about the culture during his stay.
Q: How did you end up in South Africa for a whole summer?
A: Well, my girlfriend is from there to start, but before I went I emailed a bunch of companies about internships. I had also previously studied abroad in Austria so my main motivation is that I thought it would be a really good resume builder.
Q: What did you end up doing for work there this summer?
A: I did some work for a political party there the whole summer. Specifically, I tried to help issue title deeds for properties. Because of how apartheid used to work, a lot of people don’t own their house. A bunch of people can’t leave their house to their kids, and they’re not able to get special loans that require a house, so we tried to help them by getting them the title deeds.
Q: What was the most memorable thing from your time there?
A: Truly just the poorest people I had ever seen next to the richest people I had ever seen. It’s the most unequal society on Earth, and when you see it, that is what you think. You can have a squatter camp on one corner and the biggest house you’ve ever seen on the other.
Q: What was your least favorite part about living in South Africa?
A: Going out at night, it would always be sketchy. Apart from that, everyone there thought they were obligated to lecture me on American politics, and that got annoying pretty fast because no one lecturing me had ever been to America.
Q: While you were there, could you still see the effects of apartheid?
A: It was clearly evident in the adults there. My girlfriend’s parents were 25 when apartheid ended, so it is kind of like being in a time capsule. They remembered how they were barred from the Olympics and how every country sanctioned them, but in terms of the new South Africa, I couldn’t see the effects. There is affirmative action in every sector of the workforce to help get rid of any effects that are still noticeable in society.
Q: What was the biggest takeaway from your experience there?
A: That we have it very good here. America has it very lucky by every metric considerable. I also feel, since I’ve seen their culture, that America does not have a super cohesive cultural identity, which I think is our best and worst quality.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
Q: What is your favorite food?
Q: Are you a dog or a cat person?
A: Dog for sure.
Q: Who is your favorite musical artist?
Q: What is your proudest achievement?
A: Getting into law school.
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
A: F.W. de Klerk.
This article was completed as an assignment in an upper-level journalism course. It was edited by Talon staff and approved for publication.