Please tell us about your family background. Are your parents natives of California? Are you?
I was born in Herico, Michoacán, Mexico. We moved here in November of 1966 through Calexico to the Salinas Valley where my dad was working at a ranch, [then] to Porterville, about a year [later].... my dad bought this old VW bug, and he went to pick us up. We all came as a family of eight. One of my brothers stayed in Mexico to study. My grandfather came, I found out recently from my mom, in the Bracero Program. He travelled to Texas, to Illinois. He worked on the railroads in Illinois, and eventually settled in in Porterville.
How much education did your parents have? Do you know if they wanted more than they had?
My mother graduated from the 6th grade. My father didn't attend school ... he never had the chance. They've always wanted us to continue in school, obviously, since we were always working in the fields. They didn't want us to continue doing that our whole lives.
Where and when did one or both of your parents work as migrant laborers?
[W]e had try to find the different crops that were being picked at a certain time. So, the oranges, for example, the Valencia, the navel, would be picked at different times. We knew when that was. From that, the tomato, the cucumber, the grapes ... we used to call them set "la gondola." That was all for wine, the grape for raisins, that was a different time. But we didn't really follow a program where we went to Washington, for example, with the apples. I had a lot of friends who did that and they would travel throughout and come back right around when school started in August. We didn't really have to do that. We just had to follow the different crops in the Porterville area.
Where did you live when they were working as migrant laborers?
We never lived in a labor camp, but when we first got to Woodville, we were attending school at a labor camp. In fact, my sister still works there, at a day care, at a labor camp that they converted now into a day care for all of the farm workers. Later we went to Woodville Elementary.
Being raised in Woodville, when we first moved there it was probably about 85% white, maybe 10% Latino. We only had two black families living there. When I was in high school, I think it probably became about 70% Latino, and maybe 20% white, and we still had the same two black families. For us, at least the challenge in Woodville was always trying to get out. Because you had a lot of friends that would not get involved in school, and you began to, you tried to fit in with them. Well, for example myself, I try to fit in with them, the Chicanos, from Woodville. But then again, we're all Mejicanos, over here mostly is monolingual, and so for me it was always trying to get along with both. Because I didn't want to really get involved in a gang life. I had a stint of it, for a while, didn't like it. And so, you know, you always try to stay away, but close enough that they're your friends anyway. You still have to, you know, get along.
But I was mostly with the Mejicanos, we were most of the farm workers. When we got to high school, and then it became more clear that there was a lot of different groups .... You had the Chicanos over here. And you had the Mejicanos over here. And so it became a little more a close clique. You began to find your group. And for me it was always going between both the Chicanos and the Mejicanos. When I was in high school, I was president of our Latino club, and I always found a way of having everybody involved, in some way. We had a really good, large membership, when I was there, because I was always between both. We actually combined really well. You know for me it was always- mixing it up, as you might say, with everybody.
Have you ever worked as a migrant laborer? If so, where and for how long?
I remember when I was a kid, I was about eight years old. It was the first time that I started working the fields with my dad. I have some vivid memories about wanting to get that bag to be able to pick oranges. My brother got a bag, and I didn't have a bag. I had a box. Picking oranges. And grapes. My father's memory of grapes was doing, they call 'em, the "tabla." And what you did is put a big paper out and you had to put some rocks and stuff so they wouldn't fly away. Go back to pick all the grapes, you put 'em in a big tin, and then you put them on a table. You spread them out, and then you just go down the row, many times. At that time, I remember as a kid, they would pay us ten cents a flat. So, it was a bit hard to make any, any money at all, but as a family, all eight of us would participate and we would all work. You know, some of us settin' up the tablas, some of us picking the grapes and, that way, we used to do okay.
For whatever reasons, my check was always a bit less than my dad's, like ten bucks. And I never, never said anything. However, I did have to say something when, three, four times the checks didn't have a signature on them. And so my dad would have to get in the truck and go to the person's house and be like, "Hey, you guys, you know, someone forgot to sign these. You know, the bank's not going to take one without the signature."
We used to get paid by the piece. For example, if it was oranges, it was one large box and you got paid 7 dollars for that large box. And, at most, you would do, maybe 3 or 4, per person. If it was table grapes, it was ten cents a flat. Or- or if it was, for example, buckets of pepinos, este, cucumbers, they would just go ahead and, este, punch your hole. And so it was always easy to verify how much you made that day. We would go back and count, for example, all our pallets for the grapes, and if we did a thousand, we knew at ten cents. 'Okay, that's a hundred dollars for the day,' for the whole family of eight.
Breaks we didn't have because when you're working by piece you have to go as fast as you can to make as much as you can within that time. A lot of times, we were limited in the number of boxes. For example, one day we would go work and the mayordomo would come and say, "You know what, all we have is one truck of boxes." And to make it fair, what he would do is he would say, "Okay, Don Andres, you guys only going to make half, three boxes today. I'm sorry, you guys can only fill up three boxes and that's it for the day." For a family of eight, that's 21 dollars. For another family, he might give them two boxes. If there was a person that was working by themselves, he would give them one box and say, "Sorry. That's 7 dollars for today. That's all I have." 'Cause he would always try to give to families an equal amount of boxes depending on their size. So, like the biggest family would have maybe 5 or 4. Then maybe the smaller ones would have one.
I can actually recall the last day I picked any fruit at all or any vegetable. It's kind of hard. We were picking cucumbers and one of my friends had a big field to pick, and it was only about two miles from our house. And I swear it was like, we would have to pick in buckets. And, that one day, I just got tired, you know, and I said, I couldn't do this anymore and I just walked. I walked home. And that was it. That was the last time I ever picked anything. It was cucumbers and we had to stoop over all day. I'm not sure what we were getting paid. That was it. Never went back. I was probably about fifteen years old. And I think the next day, I decided to go apply work at a lumber place in Terrabella. So I got a job there, in the lumber factory.
Actually, when we were going to college at Fresno State, one of the benefits of being so close is that we were able to come back and help. And, so, I take that back. Fruit. Coming home on the weekends, we would try to help out [in the fields], work on Saturday or Sunday, and then go back to Fresno that night to start school the next day. And as much as we could, help out.
[T]he orange season would end about mid-December and my dad would love to go to Mexico as much as he could. And we would take off right before Christmas .... We would stay through January and February and come back at the end of February, maybe early March. And so many times, we were always behind in school. I remember one year, I was in tenth grade and I was barely beginning to enjoy English and all the other classes that I didn't really have a chance to finish. We went to Mexico. And came back the end of February, early March, only to find out that because I had missed so much, I got put into a continuation school because I didn't have the credits, a school my mom would say, "Donde van los mas malos," the ones who didn't want to study, the ones who were sort of set aside. So I was there for the rest of the semester. Unfortunately, you know, you fall behind. You don't have the foundation to do the math, to do the science, and to do all those things. But you get pushed along. And ... you know you're behind.
What did your parents, and other family members, hope you would be and do when you grew up? Did your parents help you with your schoolwork when you were growing up? Were they involved in your school-related activities?
I was kinda tough. We didn't really go to any of the parent teacher conferences. I don't remember any time throughout elementary where we had one for our school, for myself, anyway. So, when they [my parents] just wanted us to go to school and take it from there. We didn't really have a lot of people that were going to college before us. We had some cousins who did. We had some friends, I had a friend whose sister, brother that would go to Santa Cruz and UCLA and that's the way I became exposed to the fact that there was other things to do, other than just school and the fields. We used to also have a lot of the army recruiters come on campus and they would give us these tests and they would say, "Okay, you are very good with your hands. I think you would make a great mechanic." And I didn't really like that stuff.
Homework, for me, was very little limited. My brother, Pedro, had gone on back to Mexico. My mom sent him, my mom and dad sent him, when he graduated from eighth grade so I didn't really have an older brother in high school with me. We had another brother in Mexico, also, in medical school.
In terms of parent participation in high school, there really wasn't any. And it was tough for them. I mean we had, after myself, my younger brother Armando, and then Jacinto, and then Fidelia, and so. Trying to get involved with all of our stuff would be very difficult. And so, now there was very limited contact with the teachers, very limited contact with the counselors. I think maybe the first time my parents did go to my high school was my graduation, 'cause I was going to give a speech. And that was it. I don't think they ever set foot on campus before that.
My parents never spoke English. I think that's also the reason why they didn't feel comfortable going to any of the meetings, understanding any of the homework , or any of that. In high school, we had Mrs. Lopez who began contact with parents but I think that was the limit. It was just contact with the counselor.
What did you hope to do and be when you grew up? Was there a moment when your vision of your future changed?
I would say it wasn't actually until the senior year that I began to talk to counselors about possibly going elsewhere. I have always had an interest in playing soccer. And at that time, San Jose had a good program, and I thought, "Oh, I could do that." I also wanted to go into electrical engineering. I took a class in high school in electronics and it was basically just making small things. You make a little light glow. I didn't have the background to, to get into electrical engineering. When I did go to San Jose State- a cold thing of reality once [I] got there, only to realize I didn't have anything- remotely close to the math, or the sciences to do that. My science credit in high school was to take apart a lawnmower, put it back together, and if it started, I got an A. That was my science credit. My math? I didn't really have any background in math at all. I was pushed along, I guess. I just got through.
Did anyone other than your family influence you to go to college, or discourage you from doing so?
I think I wasn't placed in the right classes. I remember math in my freshman year, we were playing Yahtzee a lot. Not sure really why we were playing Yahtzee a lot. I think a lot of times we're placed in certain routes for school. You know some of us are placed in, not the more intelligent classes. And I think a lot of times we don't excel because of that. Well, I was just in these classes where you just get by. Again, for the sciences, I didn't really take many very many at all. Biology, I never even, chemistry. "Menos," as my dad would say. So it wasn't really until my junior and senior year that I began to start looking at my classes more seriously. Like, Well, he's taking essay, you know, why can't I take essay? And that's when I started thinking about how to get my grades better to get into college, and I know I didn't have the grades. I know by junior year I began to apply myself a little bit more. To take the classes that I want to take, not those that we were told to. So I didn't want to take shop. I didn't want to take wood. I didn't want to take any of those classes. I wanted to take reading and writing classes. Math, I was so far behind, there was no way I was going to be able to catch up in that at all. I figured I can try to make up on the other ones instead, reading and writing.
One of my best friends-we were in the same grade since 1st grade. Went to Fresno State together. We graduated together. Graduated from high school together. Our kids go to Catholic school together. And he and I would always hang out, when I was in high school, and the reason I was exposed to a lot of other colleges was because his brother and sisters had also gone on to other colleges. And so I would go to his house often, and I would see them come back from college. And they would talk about Santa Cruz, and they would talk about Santa Barbara, and they would talk about UCLA. That was really my exposure because my sister had gone to city college, here in Porterville, but my older brothers were in Mexico. My oldest, Saul, when we came with the family, he pretty much gave up his education to help the family.
My counselor in high school, Angel, did talk to me about [the college application process]. And so, we submitted applications and I was able to get into San Jose State.
You asked me whether I was ever discouraged. Yeah, you know you're always going to have somebody, whether it's a professor, whether it's a classmate. In my case, when I was at Fresno State, I was carrying about 18 units. I was playing soccer on the team. I was doing a lot of traveling with the team, and then I had a part time job. And one of the professors, one time, I had to drop his class. It was an Introduction to Law Class, law, of all classes. Fijate. And I told him, I said, "I really need to drop your class because- you know, these are the units, part time job, and playing soccer on the team." And he told me, he says, "You know, you really shouldn't apply to law school, you know." He says, "You should really apply to the social sciences or the social services." Which I didn't really understand, because I had no friends who were in that department, and I had been doing a poli sci major the whole time. And so, he was telling me not to apply to law school. And when I got into law school, I went with another friend of mine, who went to Fresno State, she was graduating the year I was coming in. And by the way she was Latina. And I spoke to her, I said, you remember this professor in Fresno State, and she says, "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. He told her the same thing." And she was graduating from Hastings [University of California, in San Francisco]. And he had also made the same comment to her. So, when I had the chance to recruit students at Fresno State to apply to Hastings, I always came back, and I always spoke, and I always mentioned that professor, not by name. And one day he was actually one of the speakers at the meeting that we had to recruit students. And I wanted to sell my school to get people to apply. And he was there. And I always mention that story, and tell them, "You know, this is what was told to me. And don't pay attention to it. You can do it. You can go to school whenever you want to go."
What challenges did you encounter in college?
Well, prepared I wasn't, in terms of math and sciences I could tell you. It was lot of catch up. It was a lot of vocabulary that I had to catch up with. Sometimes you feel intimidated because you go into a new environment and- there's these big words that are being used and you're like, "Oh my God. You know, I'm way behind on this thing." I remember, my first day in Contracts, in San Francisco, we're, we're talking about a case and- it's a contract case-okay so, they never told you, you were supposed to read 200 pages before the first day of class. So, one, you show up. If you didn't read those pages, you're lost. Second day, for me the funny part was, the professor starts talking about an "advertisement." And I'm like, What is an advertisement? I didn't read that case? Did I that read that case? I read the case! Half-hour into the lecture, I realized it was an advertisement. A lot of the catching up was vocabulary, reading and writing. And it wasn't until twelfth grade when I began to read a lot. We were reading The Grapes of Wrath in English. And John Steinbeck had a lot of other books that I began to read. When we would go to the fields, I would always take my books with me. And, so I would read all of the John Steinbeck books. I really enjoyed them. I really, I really loved reading. I just didn't realize, that there was so much of it to do, and that you could enjoy it. And I really didn't do much of that my first two years in high school.
Initially I went to San Jose State, 'cause I wanted to play soccer. Julius Menendez was the coach of the soccer team, and considered a very good coach, and I wanted to you know try to make it there. I stayed there only one semester. It was a big shock to go from a town of at most 1500, and you go into San Jose. The school itself had about 27,000 students, and that was just way too much of a shock for me. When I came back, I got in through a EOP program at San Jose State, and I was able to come back to Fresno. It was more comfortable. It was close to home. I had wanted to come back, and a lot of my friends from Porterville were going there as well. And also I continued soccer of course.
How much do you feel that EOP and affirmative action programs helped you?
If those programs had not been in place I would never have had opportunity to go to those schools. To be exposed to those universities, to even realize that I could go to school there. Again, when you're in a migrant background and you're behind in a lot of classes, many times because of the language, the culture, where you live, how you have to live. We don't have parent-teacher conferences because the language. My report cards would come home, and they would show them to my mom, but there was never any follow up as to how you're doing, and why you're having problems in this particular subject. We never had those discussions at all. Unlike now with my kids, we always talk about the necessity maybe of a tutor, or, how's the school going, and what subject matter are you studying and how's that coming along? We never had that. And so that is the hardest part for a lot of us growing up. Many times when we take a lot of forms home, we would have to try to translate it for my parents. And many times, you know, you just take them home, have 'em sign, and that's it. They never realize exactly what they were signing.
What did your parents, and other family members, hope you would be and do when you grew up? Did they want you to have more education than they had had? Did you feel that your family's cultural and economic background was generally supportive of your desire to go to college?
My parents didn't want my sister to go too far for college. So, the farthest she would go would be Porterville College. With myself, I know they were pushing school. I know they didn't want me to continue in the fields. They didn't know what exactly what kinds of things to get into. Just to stay in school. My younger brothers as well, we sort of pushed each other. When I went to San Jose, I transferred to Fresno State, my brother Pedro came back from Mexico and came in about a year after me as well. So he was able to transfer a lot of classes from Mexico to Fresno State. My younger brother also, Armando, also wanted to go to city college in Fresno. So we were able to all move together. And again, on the weekends, come back to be able to help out and. Having to work in the fields.
I think a lot of people would have the same sentiment: We were, we were poor, but we didn't know we were poor, until someone told us we were. You know we felt rich in what we had. I mean we had family of nine, and the way that we bonded together, was just something that the best of money couldn't buy. Helping each other out with homework, having to work I the fields the way we did-I don't think I would change anything about what we went through.
I think with the rising cost of school, though, and then the limited supply of tuition assistance, that's always the hardest part for students. I've always been a big proponent of work- study. I think that is the best, because you're getting a chance to be able to study at the same time, maybe at an office on campus. It may be doing something that you may not like, but it is a recommendation, once you get out it is a, it is a reference. And that's what you need, to have a little bit of a resume on what you volunteered in, where you worked at. It gives you a leg up sometimes.
You know there's ways to help pay for school, even if it's doing dishes. I worked at Burger King when I was in college, and I used to go home smelling like fries. I still don't like the fries. And, sometimes you have to take those jobs to be able to make ends meet. I took out a lot of loans in law school. I think I actually piled a debt of about $35,000, which now I think would be a couple hundred thousand now. But you know, the opportunities-and you get those low interest loans at the beginning, and that's what really helps quite a bit.
How did you decide on your course of study? What factors and individuals influenced your choice of discipline and degree?
[In college] I didn't really have any particular thing I wanted to do. When I got into electrical engineering only to find out I didn't have any background at all to even get remotely close to to doing that, I changed my majors about five times- or four times- but eventually, I began talking to folks about what they wanted to do. And, and when I was taking classes at Fresno State and I had one class with an attorney- Mister Bob Perez- and he was teaching criminal procedure. And so I said, "I like that." I took the class, and he gave us the challenge the first day of class. And he said, "If you get an A in the class, I will help you get into a law school. It may not be the school you want to go to, but I will help you get into a law school."
And I did. I got an A. I decided to go to McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Contacted the Latino students there and I said, "Can I just sit in there one day in a class?" So I did. I drove up to Sacramento and they had an evening class in criminal procedure, which was the same one I took with Mr. Perez, and I wanted to raise my hand, because I knew the answer to one of the questions that they were posing. And I just really liked that. I really enjoyed it. And so, when I got back to Fresno, I decided, "Okay, I'm going to to apply to law school." And I applied to four. One in San Diego and then I applied to Aces Law School in San Francisco, and I got in.
How did you overcome challenges in college?
You know, I've always been very, -I've always taken a challenge. I knew I was going to do something- I didn't know what yet. When I went to San Jose State, I just got on a bus and I just ended up there. And you know I'm going to do it- I don't know how, but I'm going to do it. When I got into law school and I went to San Francisco, I just, drove up, packed my car, and. I didn't know exactly what was going to be happening there. I didn't understand any of that, I had never been to graduate school, obviously. But I knew I was going to do it.
I was kind of confident about finishing school. And so when, when we were in law school, we were always told, especially the first year, the professors would always tell you, "Listen. Look to your right. Look to your left- one of you is not going to be here next year." And they would scare you to death the first year. I guess I just took it as a challenge. And I wasn't scared. When I went to law school, a lot of my friends were scared of failing and about dropping out, and about their parents supporting them for school. I had no pressure because, I always told myself, "Listen, if I ever make it in law school-I've worked in the fields. I've worked in the mills. I was a dishwasher in college. I did all those things so I know I can get by. This isn't like "If I fail here, I'm not going to have a future at all." And then, I always said, I was going to do something. And so I never had that pressure a lot of my classmates did in law school.
When I was in law school, we did have LEOP, Legal Education Opportunity Program. It was very supportive of the students coming in. We would have, for example, in advance of school starting, a one-week trial run as to what school was going to be like. So we knew ahead of time. How the professors ran their courses. How you were going to be challenged. How you were going to be questioned. How you were expected to do the note taking. How you were expected to look at the briefs. To look at the cases. To break them down. To analyze. So when we had that first day of school, and you already had 200 pages per class already read, and just ready to go, a lot of the kids didn't realize that when they came in. And had they gone to the first day of class, and realized, yikes I'm lost. And so it was nice to have support that support program there. We had tutors as well, if you ever had any need for tutors, in any of the courses. And the same thing with EOP at Fresno State. They had a lot of tutoring if you needed it.
What is your profession or career? How satisfied are you with your career?
I am an attorney. I have my own practice. I opened it up probably about 8 years ago. I was in a partnership with some friends prior to that. I graduated in '88, and began practicing in Bakersfield for a couple of years. Then I moved to Sacramento where I have been since. So I've been out since 1988 practicing. I enjoy it. For me, having my own practice allows me to set my own hours, allows me to take on the cases that I like. And the fortunate part about me, is that I like to do a lot of pro bono work. I used to volunteer with the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, it's been already about 13, 14 years. And taking on those cases for free probably gives you the best satisfaction you can get. The cases that got me more interested and involved were trying to help out families recover kids who were kidnapped in Mexico and brought here. And in many cases I came into help out with the courts, with the district attorney's office to be able to locate the children, to give them back to one of the parents. And, in many cases they were sent back home with the mom or the dad. So those are the cases that really had me doing a lot of volunteer work.
How has your college education and professional success influenced your relationship to your parents and siblings, during your college years and since-including any family members who did not pursue higher education?
Well, I see myself as the same person when I come home. We come home often to Woodville to visit family and friends, and it hasn't changed my relationship with a lot of my family. A lot of them are proud of the fact that we did do what we did. My brother, he got an MBA in '88, when I also graduated with a law degree. And my brothers and sisters have gone on to Fresno State as well, and have graduated from there. I don't think it's changed us at all, we're always close to a lot of people in Woodville. A lot of them are still in the fields. And we still have a connection to them, we interact with them just the same. You know, just yesterday we were there at the church, they were having a fiesta. And it's just nice to be back, and see a lot of the friends that still live there. And their kids are already now in high school, or already graduated. I don't think that ever comes out. I don't think that ever leaves you.
Of all the people in Woodville, really, when we came from Mexico, we had large families that pretty much came together. There was the Guzmans, the Ricos, the Ojedas, and the Ortizes. Four families. And a lot of the cousins that I have did the same thing I did. A lot of them went on to Santa Cruz, UCLA, Sac State. Psychologists, two psychologists from the same town where I'm from in Mexico. My cousins, the Ortizes, to see them go to school, the Guzmans as well, to see them graduate from a lot of the schools, come back to be teachers.... It's a big support network that we have between the four families that came from the same small town. So I credit them as well.
What differences has obtaining a college degree made in your personal life? And in your professional life?
Well, I think having been raised the way we were, you appreciate everything a lot more. Sometimes I tell my kids, "I really wish you would go back and work one day in my shoes, pick fruit for just one day to see how it feels to have to earn that dollar in that hard way." I say, "Here comes Dad again," you know. The days you used to be in the fields. I really wish a lot of the kids would do that, just to be able to appreciate what they have." I think a lot of kids aren't working the fields simply because of the labor laws. When we were kids, I started when I was like 8, 9 years old. And I think a lot of kids don't have that opportunity, and I call it an opportunity because it, it really does make you appreciate school a lot more. And then, also it makes you appreciate the parents and the sacrifices they have to do that work for you. So you don't have to do it, you know, when you get older.
I value being able to come back home, see my brothers and sisters. My kids, I just try to instill with them that they're lucky they don't have to go through that. Nonetheless, they should put as much or more effort than did when we were going to school. You know, they face different circumstances. My kids, they don't have to work in the fields like a lot of other kids do, but they have other challenges. I don't know.
You know, I spend a lot of time with my kids and my family. And I think the education that I got helps me do that a lot. To be able to take so many days off, to be able to take a week if I wanted to, to be able to one day just, you know what, I'm going to close up the office. Or, I'm just not going to show up, and I'm going to go do a field trip with them. See my parents never did that with us, 'cause they couldn't. Not because they didn't want to, but they couldn't. And if it was providing food for nine of us, or going to a volunteer trip, you know the choice is obviously they're never going to go. They never did, but I understand why.
What kinds of advice would you have for any other kid who might be the first in their family to go to college?
The one thing that you want to do, especially in high school, and even before that is, you don't want to have your lives set by what other people tell you you're going to be good at, and what you can do. I was always told I was going to be a good mechanic, because I good dexterity with my fingers. I didn't want to be a mechanic. I couldn't change my own oil today. I was always told that. And, they try to tell you to, you know you have to take wood. You have to go to take all these other metal courses, car, shop and so forth. You don't have to do that.
If you're interested in reading, push that. Push the envelope, and get informed as to what classes are available, and don't just go by what they tell you you should be taking. I didn't do that. I didn't challenge our counselors enough, I think, until the last two years. And by then I was already behind in math, and I was already not as prepared as I should have been. And so, it was catch up, it was catch up. My junior and 12th year was a lot of catch up, a lot of reading, and I really enjoyed it. I always took books with me, when we used to go to the fields. Any break, you had a chance, just get a chance to read the book. And I would of never have been exposed to it, if I didn't really just push myself to taking, for example in my last year, essay writing.
Don't say, I can't do it because I don't have the funds. Because I don't know anybody. There's so much that you can get online, from counselors, from schools. You know, just go ahead and take that next step. Don't be afraid of failing. But really don't. I do a lot of coaching in basketball and I tell my kids, "Now listen, the ball's not going to go in, if you don't shoot. You know, even Michael Jordan was cut when he was in 10th grade from his basketball team." I say, "Don't be scared of failing. It's going to happen, but it's what you do after you fail, that shows what you're made of. You know, you really got to just take your chances." That's all I can really just say.