“I once heard a saying that when you’re ready, the teacher you need appears before you.” ― Emily Byrd Starr

I’d like to thank Ellie and Jim Berghausen (Aunt Ellie and Uncle Jim) for this week’s challenge. They are close family friends from when I was little. They are also my sister, Abbey’s, Godparents. I’m sure I took it in a different direction than they intended, but I feel my responses are accurate and my recipients deserving of such praise.

Challenge #4:



“Write a letter to 2 of the best, most influential “teachers” you have encountered in your 28 1/2 years. Tell them why you chose them for this honor. If they respond, let the world know what they said!” – Jim and Ellie Berghausen

I was told that I could use the term “teachers” in the liberal sense or move beyond the classroom. Only one caveat- no family members.

I was going to write a letter to each of my siblings until I read that last bit (don’t worry, John and Abbey. I have another one coming for you down the road) and I realized I needed to go back to the drawing board.

I selected Melanie Chavez for my first letter. I joined the Junior League of Cincinnati 4 years ago and have met so many insanely awesome women that I cannot even begin to count. I remember accompanying my mom to meetings when I was a small child and watching them do their thing. She developed so many close friends with whom she is still close today. Many of which, I have come to call friends, as well.

One of the incredible women I have met is Melanie Chavez. She served as President of the JLC last year and I had the opportunity to work quite frequently with her while I was planning our spring fundraiser, Cinsation. I have gotten to know her on a personal and professional level and truly appreciate all of the guidance she has bestowed upon me.


I will not reveal the whole letter, but here are some of the lessons I have taken from our interactions.

– ALWAYS send a thank you note. Always. Handwritten on cute stationary. The handwritten word goes a long way and is so very rarely used these days.

– Act like a lady. Melanie handles herself with an admirable elegance and poise that I could only dream of having. My lack of coordination and severe case of clumsiness, not to mention the volume of my voice, are hindering this process but I’m working on it.

– Give everything 110%. I do not know how she does it, and might never know, but Melanie is all-in on every single thing she does. I’m certainly trying, but SOMETIMES I just doooon’t wanna go to that meeeeting.

– Be flexible. Sometimes things happen and you cannot control them or they are not as you expected. Roll with the punches and figure out how to solve the problem.

I look up to her more than she probably recognizes, but I can’t think of anyone more deserving. Thank you so very much for all that you have taught me, Melanie! It is genuinely appreciated.

And juuuuust as I was about to seal the envelope I discovered that I had written the letter upside down on my cute card. What can I say? Rome wasn’t built in a day…


After having spent the past weekend in Las Vegas for my friend Stacey’s bachelorette party, I realized just how much I rely on my phone. I was constantly looking things up on google. And thus, my second letter…

And with that, they’re on their way to their recipients! I’ll let you know if I hear anything back! If any of you happen to know anyone that works at Google, let me know!! I want to make sure the right person knows how much they mean to me!


That’s it for this week! Fingers crossed for good weather next week! I am really looking forward to the task I’ve selected!

3 thoughts on ““I once heard a saying that when you’re ready, the teacher you need appears before you.” ― Emily Byrd Starr

  1. I don’t know if FB notifies you ~ I shared this update from your FB site with a friend of mine from college who is an in-house counsel at Google. Maybe nothing will happen, but at least now someone there knows 🙂

  2. Hi Katie,

    Thank you for taking the time to share what Google has taught you! I’ve watched it several times and am impressed, delighted, and touched by what you’ve created. Know that your letter made many Googlers smile and it meant a lot to us that you reached out. I posted it here on my Google+ profile: http://goo.gl/4v6ip

    You mentioned that you’d want a challenge from the recipients of your letters, so here’s a couple of Google-related ones to inspire you to keep on learning.
    1) This page has over fifty search tips! You might know a handful, but I think that you’re bound to learn something new by checking them out. http://www.google.com/insidesearch/tipstricks/index.html
    2) A couple of times a week, we do search tips on the Official Google+ page. I think that you’d like them.

    Again, thank you so much for the heartfelt video. I’m definitely bookmarking it. Search on! 🙂

    All the best,
    Jess Schwartz
    Google Search Community Manager

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