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Shark Attack: Warm Wishes to and Many Thanks from Chris Myers

Chris Myers, Scratch educator and enthusiast, is the founder of Myers Learning, a learning company based in Denver, CO that offers Scratch-based educational programs. A native to Massachusetts, Chris returned to Boston a few weeks ago to attend the Scratch@MIT Conference from July 26-28 and then visit with family. On July 30, while swimming off the coast of Cape Cod with his son JJ (16), Chris suddenly felt sharp pain in both legs and found his left ankle caught in the jaws of something huge that he was sure was a shark. He kicked repeatedly at the shark's nose and teeth with his right heel and the shark let go. The shark then surfaced right between Chris and JJ, showing 6 feet of its back and dorsal fin -- before disappearing as quickly as it had come. In a later interview with Good Morning America ( Chris said he and JJ were "very motivated" to swim the 500 yards to shore -- where they discovered both Chris's legs bleeding profusely from the knee down. The incident was later identified officially as an attack from a Great White Shark, the first in Massachusetts since 1936. 

We are overjoyed to learn from an email from Chris that he is having a speedy recovery, keeping his spirits up, maintaining his sense of humor, and enjoying a bit of local fame. Get well soon, Chris!

(Email from Chris to Karen Brennan)

Dear Karen,

Thank you for your email and warm wishes. Surprisingly, I am expected to make a full recovery, and am already shuffling  around without my crutches. 

I have spent a couple of extra days in New York as a guest of CNN and FOX. Nice to see them collaborating on SOMETHING. 

I have become a bit of a local hero to the Spanish-speaking housekeepers on the 7th floor of the Essex House hotel in New York where I have spent two nights. They say that "God wasn't done with you. Tiene un plan para ti. He has a plan for you." I think of myself as one of the least religious people I know, but have been touched by their faith. 

When I try to imagine what that plan might look like, it always involves Scratch -- and the beautiful ideas about learning that Seymour and Mitch and you -- and those you all have inspired -- are working to bring into the world. 

I loved reading the article you and Mitch wrote about the Scratch Conference.  It was a joy to attend. 

Please give all my best and my thanks to your colleagues in the Scratch community. I would love to post this email to ScratchED if appropriate. 

Best, Chris

In this ScratchEd feature story about Myers Learning published in February 2011, you can read more about the work that Chris and his collaborator, Lindsay Allen, have developed using Scratch for in-school, after-school, and professional development settings.