Senior sisters seize opportunities to study abroad

By: SCOTT MCMAHON

Madison and Maisy Bockus atop the Eiffel Tower.

You know them as the Bockus twins (or the Bocki, to some), but there’s a lot more to CHS senior twins Madison and Maisy Bockus than most are aware of.

For starters, the two are graduating from CHS early in December, and will spend January through April studying abroad in Spain, Portugal and other parts of Europe, as well as Australia, South America or the Caribbean.

In every senior’s second semester, a school-wide plague known only as senioritis spreads throughout campus, turning spirited, motivated students into pinnacles of laziness and inactivity. Maisy and Madison saw this coming, and have decided to take advantage. The sisters will be taking part in a gap-year-like, scholarship-funded program run by the Council for International Educational Exchange.

“I felt that I was ready to explore the world, and I felt that the second semester of senior year, when the class is plagued by senioritis, is the perfect time to do so,” Maisy says. “It’s also the perfect balance between taking an entire year off of academic studies and going straight to college.”

Madison is alike in her reasoning behind the decision: “I was looking to supplement my high school educational experience with some unconventional, ‘real world’ experience.”

After graduating, Maisy’s first stop will be Sevilla, Spain, where she will live with a host family of native Spanish speakers and attend regular classes at a nearby language institute. On weekends, she will travel, explore and see as much of Spain, Portugal and the rest of Europe as she can.

As for Madison, she has yet to decide on a destination, but is contemplating between Australia and South America, specifically in Chile and Cuba. Her plans abroad involve volunteering for various environmental organizations and participating in research projects.

After returning home, Maisy plans to work full-time on the Monterey Peninsula, while possibly taking a few classes at Monterey Peninsula College. The sisters also plan on taking a road trip across the U.S., visiting national parks and other peculiar destinations along the way.

Many students attempt to boost their résumés and profiles by engaging in such activities as studying abroad. However, both Madison and Maisy are adamant in their motivation for the expedition, emphasizing not the benefit it might have on any sort of college processes, but the underlying passion they both share for expanding their horizons and their own personal interests in this upcoming journey.

Tom Dooner, the sisters’ biology and chemistry teacher at CHS, has been aware of Madison and Maisy’s graduation plans since the previous year and recommended the CIEE program to them. He says, “I think it will be a fantastic experience for both of them, which they are fully equipped to handle.”