Reading & Writing Assignment (1) – The Pursuit of Happyness

Once you build a strong foundation of grammar and vocabulary, it is time to practice. The best way to improve your English is to read and write, a lot. And to do so regularly. While doing these assignments, some of you will also fall in love with the beautiful habit of reading and writing. You can thank us later :). For now, let’s get started!

What will you do in this assignment? – The theme of these assignments is ‘Read a page, write a paragraph’. You would read about an interesting situation or a story, maybe watch a clip on it, and then answer a question based on what you read and saw. Excited?

Today’s situation (source)

‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ (if you haven’t seen it already, I strongly recommend you do) is one of the most inspiring movies of our generation based on the entrepreneur Chris Gardner’s nearly one-year struggle with being homeless.

In 1981, San Francisco salesman Chris Gardner (role played by Will Smith) invests his entire life savings in portable bone-density scanners, which he demonstrates to doctors and pitches as a handy quantum leap over standard X-rays. The scanners play a vital role in Chris’ life. While he is able to sell most of them, the time lag between the sales and his growing financial demands enrage his already bitter and alienated wife Linda, who works as a hotel maid. The financial instability increasingly erodes their marriage, in spite of them caring for their five-year-old son, Christopher Jr.

While downtown trying to sell one of the scanners, Gardner meets Jay Twistle, a manager for Dean Witter Reynolds and impresses him by solving a Rubik’s Cube during a taxi ride. After Jay leaves, Gardner lacks money to pay the fare, and chooses to run, resulting in the driver chasing him into a BART station. Gardner boards a train but loses one of his scanners in the process. His new relationship with Jay earns him the chance to become an intern stockbroker. The day before the interview, Gardner grudgingly agrees to paint his apartment so as to postpone being evicted due to his difficulty in paying the rent. While painting, Gardner is greeted by two policemen at his doorstep, who take him to the station, stating he has to pay for his numerous parking tickets he has accumulated. As part of the sanction, Gardner is ordered to spend the night in jail, complicating his schedule for the interview the next morning. He manages to arrive at Dean Witter’s office on time, albeit still in his shabby clothes. Despite his appearance, he impresses the interviewers. How? Watch the clip below –

However, at the end of the interview, he finds out that this is an unpaid internship, something that his current financial situation makes impossible for him to accept. But this internship could also be his only chance to break the cycle of poverty as he may get hired as a paid broker at the end of the internship.  He thinks about it and calls up the hiring manager, Jay, and conveys his decision (we’ll let that be suspense for now for those who haven’t watched the movie).

Question for you– Imagine yourself to be in Chris’s situation and you have to communicate your decision to Jay (the hiring manager) by writing an email to him. What would your decision be and how would you communicate. Please write your answer (in an email format) below in the comments section. Your answer should be minimum 150 words long.

You can also read fellow students’ answers in comments (but do so only after you have submitted your own answer so that you don’t get influenced by what others wrote). We also encourage you to share your feedback, appreciation, and thoughts against others’ answers. Remember, it is a community effort and we are all in it together :). Only when you participate, you can expect others to participate and share feedback on what you wrote. Deal?

To read the next article of the series on the basics of grammar, click on the next button below. To go back to the previous article, click on the previous button.

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34 thoughts on “Reading & Writing Assignment (1) – The Pursuit of Happyness

  • October 15, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    Hi Jay,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity and also, want to apologies for turning up informally for the interview.

    I would also like to tell you that I was a little disappointed to know that this will be an unpaid internship as I was really looking forward to the one considering my financial situation. But, then again, I realized that this is a too good opportunity for me to leave, so I am glad to tell you that I would love to take up this challenge. I know I will get to learn a lot in this internship duration, and I will try my level best to meet your expectations. Also, will hope to attain a full time career opportunity as a broker in the company at the end of this internship.

    Please let me know if you think that anything else is needed to be done from my side. Looking forward for a positive response.

    Thank you
    Chris

    Reply
  • October 15, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    Hi Jay,

    I’d like to thank you for considering my application and for extending me an offer.

    However, I’d like to bring it to your kind notice that it would be difficult for me to work without pay, if not impossible. But I do have a knack for stockbroking and I’d to give it a shot, my best possible shot given my circumstances. I truly hope that I’ll be able to run that extra mile. I assure that I’ll leave no stone unturned in my attempt to achieve that feat.

    Please let me know if there is anything further that is supposed to be done on my part.

    Thanks & Regards
    Chris

    Reply
  • October 15, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Hi Jay,

    It was a pleasure coming to your esteemed organisation and receiving an offer to work for the same. Also, I pay my sincere apologies for the informal dress code in the interview.

    Also, it was disheartening to know that the internship for which I was interviewed for, was an unpaid internship. I would like to tell you that I come from a very poor background and could barely pay my daily expenses. And as you very well know in today’s time it is very difficult to live and survive in a city like this without a stipend for an intern.

    With the passion that I have for stock broking and my intelligence, I assure that I would do full justice to this internship. I would request you to please look into it and please offer me a decent stipend so that I am able to give my best in this internship.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Chris

    Reply
  • October 17, 2016 at 12:14 AM

    Hi,

    I came and met you and the other company members for the interview today. As an aspiring broker, this was a chance not many are able to get easily. Therefore, I wish to thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent in front of the board. I would also like to apologise for my appearance. It was unprofessional and I won’t repeat that again.

    However, I must point out that before coming for the interview, I was unaware that this was an unpaid internship. You may be knowing about my financial situation and how difficult it would be for me to work under the circumstances with no pay, but at the same time, it is a chance for me to show my talent.

    While I am a tad disappointed with the financial aspect of it, the internship will still provide me with a platform to not only learn from the very best, but to also display my work ethics and innovation to the company. In doing so, I hope I can form an important part of the organization and get a permanent job here which will benefit both me and the long term success the organization strives to achieve.

    I cherish this opportunity that has been given to me and I want to make the most of it. I am willing to work hard and learn the tricks of the trade. Therefore, I am willing to take up the chance to work with the company. I hope I can get this job eventually. Hoping for a positive response.

    Thanks and regards
    Chris Gardner.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    Hi Jay,

    Firstly, thank you for the opportunity. I have decided to accept the offer.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    Reply
  • November 8, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Hi Jay,

    First of all, I’d like to explain you about my odd costume. Last night, I was painting my house when police came by to take me into their custody for not paying parking tickets. Yes sir, you’ve heard me right. So I had to spend the whole night in the jail as a punishment. When I was released in the morning, I had no time to go home and get clean, as the interview is in about 20 minutes. I ran up all the way to come here in time and when I was sitting outside, I had been thinking of what to say about my appearance right now. I then realised that nothing is more interesting than truth and here I am sitting right in front of you thriving to seek your attention.

    Back in time, I was just an ordinary guy who used to sell bone density scanners to earn for a living. But suddenly when things got worse and while I was craving myself to get into some work, I met you and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get into an internship as a stock broker. Glad that I impressed you and got the chance. I have been working hard to get this job. I assure that I can provide my 100% in the work sets. You may think of me as an indecent guy by looking at my appearance, but deep inside I’m the guy who can look for the answers, who has ability to fight, who would never give up.

    Thank you,
    Chris.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    Hi jay,

    After I come to know that this internship was unpaid , I feel disappointed because my financial conditions are very poor but this internship is so important for giving my career a new heights, so I have decided to accept a offer.

    Thanks
    Chris

    Reply
  • December 9, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    Respected Jay,
    First of all thank you for selecting to this internship.But I’am embarrassed finding out it to be an unpaid internship.Seriously,I’am in a critical situation were i cannot meet my expenses.Please make it a paid intern,In fact i will prove myself as a successful broker.If i do not know anything regarding it.I will definitely learn about it and make sure that it doesn’t go wrong in any direction.It will be so helpful to your company and myself.

    Reply
  • December 21, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Hello ,Good morning,
    I’m Chris Gardner ,
    I just want to say you tat i am not her to giving you my introduction as all who came for this post dos ,but i’m here to get this job ,and if you never feel that you did wrong decision by hiring me for this post ,and i am giving surety that i’ll give you the best as ever want for this post and i just want to say sorry about my misbehavior as i am just coming from the police station
    and thank you all.

    Reply
  • December 26, 2016 at 5:32 PM

    DEAR SIR,

    GOOD MORNING!! This is to inform you about my yesterday’s interview.I was overwhelmed that you invited me for interview yesterday and yes I really want to join your firm but I my financial conditions doesn’t allow me to do freelance.It will be very kind of you to provide me stipend for my internship.
    Sorry about my misbehavior.Hope you will see to my request.
    Thanks & Regards
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • January 2, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Subject: Application for internship as a Stock Broker.

    Respected Mr. Jay,
    I am Chris Gardner. I am writing this to explore my chances of being selected to work as an intern in Dean Witter Reynolds. I was also called for an interview on 20th December 2016.

    I have good communication skills. I secured second position in National Creative Writing Competition, among 10,000 entries, which was organised by ‘The Hindu’. I also have a previous experience of salesmanship at selling 100 bone-density scanners which I had developed myself. I want to gain experience as a broker by working as an intern in your company.

    I have gone through your company’s objectives and goals. I too share the same interests. I too want to provide access to cheap and quality material for everyone.

    I see myself as a paid broker at your company after the completion of the internship. I can prove to be an asset for your company and can help you grow your company to new heights. I am attaching my detailed resume for your kind perusal.

    I hope to join Dean Witter Reynolds soon.
    Thanking you.

    Yours sincerely,
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • January 16, 2017 at 7:11 PM

    Hi jay,

    I’d like to thank you for giving me an opportunity and considering my application for this internship. I just came to know that this is an unpaid internship. I know this is a great opportunity for me to learn and gain experience but my current financial situation is worse. I can’t even afford my home rent. I’m sorry to inform you, I can’t take this opportunity and work as an unpaid intern but If you are kind enough to offer me a stipend based on my performance, I will definitely rethink my decision.

    Thank you.

    Yours sincerely,
    Chris Gardner.

    Reply
  • February 6, 2017 at 10:50 PM

    hello sir,
    I am Chris and I want to have an opportunity to get that internship.I can make your company’s profit double , you can trust on me.I am good at finding the answer instead of skipping that question and I am a straight forward person.So,I will not make any excuses for my unsuccessful task.You can give me one chance. I will be very thankful to you.

    chris

    Reply
  • February 23, 2017 at 10:57 PM

    Dear Jay,
    I am Chris Gardner. Thank you for giving a wonderful opportunity to attend the interview. I was confident that I would impress you and your boss and would be selected for the Intern. I am so happy to hear that I was selected for the intern.
    I was little disappointed that the intern was unpaid. This would helped me to support my critical financial issues. but I consider this as a opportunity. I won’t miss this opportunity and I join the intern.Ii hope that you see me as the best intern at end of the internship. I came to Know that there is chance of recruiting me based on my performance. I hope that I will work for the success of the company.
    Thank you

    Reply
  • March 8, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview with your company. I have been looking for this opportunity for a long time and finally, I got a one. This internhsip could teach me a lot in short span of time. Though I know that this is an unpaid internship but this is the position I was looking so far and I am excited to learn new skills. I will join your company from next week only.

    Thanks,
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • March 21, 2017 at 2:51 AM

    Hi Joy,
    Thank you for giving me the chance to interview in your company.It’s really big opportunity for me.I apologize for attending the interview in informal dress.
    I came to know that this is an unpaid internship.As my family condition, it will be taught for me.Instead of it I really want to join your company.
    Again thank you so much for selecting me.

    Thanks
    Kartick

    Reply
  • March 24, 2017 at 10:49 PM

    Mr.Jay,

    I would like to thank you first for allowing me to speak up my mind despite of my bizarre appearance in the interview and giving me the opportunity to learn this business under your guidance.As you are offering me an internship in your company, I am very great full to you. I can learn a lot about this field in this internship. Besides the fact that you are not paying me for this internship, I want to grab this opportunity of working with you people and learn the important aspects of this field. I strongly believe that I have all the qualities that you want in your employee. I am very much interested in this field and want to have a fruitful future in the same. I know that this is a big risk considering my situation but then its all about taking risk at right time and get its progressive result.

    I will be obliged if you consider my acceptance for this internship.

    Regards
    Chris Gardener

    Reply
  • April 6, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Hi Jay,

    I would like to thank you for giving me this great opportunity. This is great for me to give shape to my dreams & life. You know my financial condition very well still I am going to join this internship. Initially when I knew that it is a unpaid internship I was become nervous but now I am ready for new battle & I ensured you, I will win it any how, I must.

    Again thank you so much!!!

    Regards
    Chris Gardener

    Reply
  • April 11, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Dear Jay,

    This is Chris Gardener and I just thought of thanking you for all your efforts in getting me an interview with Mr.Dean Witter.Thank you for trusting me and being on my side despite my untidy appearance.I think I have done something worthy of your efforts and believe that your reputation has not been affected.My situation is getting worse and worse.I don’t even have a house to live now and I have my little son with me.However we will stay in any of the refugee camps like we have been doing since last week.I think I have natural affinity towards this internship and I’m thinking about it all the time.My spouse Linda left me and I’m all alone along with my boy,Anyway I’m not gonna blame her for her act.I was a failure till yesterday.I failed miserably as an husband,salesman and I’m trying to not fail at least as a father.

    I feel like telling you all this just to make you aware of my past life,troubles I’m going through and mainly to make you realize that what you gave me is not merely an internship opportunity but a boon that will change my life.I never thought this will an unpaid internship and also yet to decide what I am going to do for meeting my expenses during the course of this internship.Nevertheless I fully acknowledge your efforts and also mine in getting this internship opportunity and I am not gonna let this golden opportunity go.I have decided to kick start the internship and do my best to the company.

    With regards,
    Chris gardener

    Reply
  • April 26, 2017 at 11:39 PM

    Dear Jay
    I am sure you would be surprised by the way in which today’s interview went, even I am. So now, when I got the internship, you are the one to whom i need to thank the most, to give me the opportunity to present myself and impress the interviewers. I am very happy and excited at the same time to tell you that i am highly looking forward towards the internship with your firm. So do let me know the earliest date, i can get associated with the company.I hope my association with the firm would be beneficial mutually.Thank you
    P.s- Jay , hope to meet you sometime on tea break with some new Rubik,s cube challenges.Thank you

    With Regards
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • April 28, 2017 at 6:40 PM

    Hello Jay,
    I hope you would be doing well.I would like to apologize for my shabby dressing for the meeting at “Dean Witer building” today.I assure you that this negligence wont be repeated anymore in the upcoming future.
    I would also like to express my sincere gratitude for arranging this meeting. This internship will be a huge learning opportunity and surely in the future it will help me in overcoming my dwindling financial situation.
    I am looking forward to join the company as soon as possible.Please convey all the necessary details about the further process.Waiting for your reply at the earliest.

    thanks & regards
    Chris Gartner

    Reply
  • May 31, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Hi Jay,

    It was a strange interview, wasn’t it? I know, I disappointed you by appearing in those shabby clothes. My apologies for the same. I am glad to hear that I am hired for this internship. As I said during the interview, if I don’t know the answer, I will definitely find the answer. I promise to keep this same attitude in future. I would like to learn a lot from you and your firm. I assure you, I will turn out to be an asset for your firm. I hope our bond will become more stronger.
    I thank you for providing me this opportunity and I promise to never fail you.
    Send me the details for the same as earliest as possible.
    Regards,
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • June 26, 2017 at 11:21 PM

    Dear Jay,

    Past few hours before the interview were the longest hours of my life.Even though the circumstances were not in my favor but somehow I managed to reach Dean witter’s office in time but not in appropriate clothes and I am extremely sorry for this.But even after all this I got an internship.

    I have struggled so much in the past one year because I wanted to make money with my skills and hard work and that’s why even though it is unpaid internship I will accept it and learn from this experience.
    Thank you jay for giving me this opportunity.

    Regards,
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • July 4, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Sir,
    Thanks for considering me viable to apply as an intern in your esteemed firm. I see it as a great opportunity for me as I will definitely learn something new and will have a real life experience apart from the theoretical knowledge I pursue. I am very keen and looking forward to work in your firm and hope that it proves beneficial for both of us. Thanking you in anticipation.
    Regards,
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • July 31, 2017 at 5:25 PM

    Happiness vs Happyness. Which is right??

    Reply
  • August 3, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    I am not interested to write any letter

    Reply
  • September 4, 2017 at 12:43 PM

    Hello jay :)

    This is Chris here :) Happy to hear form you back. I am very glad to accept this offer because I have been working hard to get intern. As you know I was struggling hard to overcome my finical situation.I have an request to you, If you can pay some bit of money as my wage , Then it will be very useful for me to survey, and work hard with out any physical disturbance .Hope you understand my situation,Kindly consider it and Let me know, if it possible for you to pay me a bit .If not ,I’m very glad to work further.

    Awaiting for your positive reply :)

    Thanks !

    Regards
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • September 9, 2017 at 4:57 PM

    Hi Jay
    I say thank you to for giving a chance, because this chance would be change my poverty and financial situation which I want to change for my Son for his better future. And I’m accept this offer and request you to, if you do me a favor for a bit of wages during the my intern, So that, I can able to manage my financial crisis. I hope that you will look into it and get me soon.

    And, I assure you that I will work to the best of my ability to this esteemed organisation.

    Regards,
    Chris Gardner

    Reply
  • September 9, 2017 at 4:58 PM

    I say thank you to for giving a chance, because this chance would be change my poverty and financial situation which I want to change for my Son for his better future. And I’m accept this offer and request you to, if you do me a favor for a bit of wages during the my intern, So that, I can able to manage my financial crisis. I hope that you will look into it and get me soon.

    And, I assure you that I will work to the best of my ability to this esteemed organisation.
    Regrda
    Chrics

    Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    Hi jay,
    I am thankful for offering me this internship. I am in struggling phase of my life and in great need of a job that can support me financially. I am in such a conditin that I haven’t money to even pay for rent. I am passing through such a critical condition that it would be impossible for me to work unpaid. I had hope of getting some wedge in the internship. So I got disappointed after hearing that it is unpaid internship. But latter I thought that it could be way to learn new skill and may I got placed as paid worker after internship. I will give my best to perform well in this internship.

    Again I am thankful to you for offering me this internship and waiting for your positive response.

    Regards
    Chris gardner

    Reply
  • October 3, 2017 at 4:31 AM

    Mr.Jay,

    I would like to thank you first for allowing me to speak up my mind despite of my bizarre appearance in the interview and giving me the opportunity to learn this business under your guidance.As you are offering me an internship in your company, I am very great full to you. I can learn a lot about this field in this internship. Besides the fact that you are not paying me for this internship, I want to grab this opportunity of working with you people and learn the important aspects of this field. I strongly believe that I have all the qualities that you want in your employee. I am very much interested in this field and want to have a fruitful future in the same. I know that this is a big risk considering my situation but then its all about taking risk at right time and get its progressive result.

    I will be obliged if you consider my acceptance for this internship.

    Regards
    Chris Gardener

    Reply
  • October 30, 2017 at 11:16 PM

    Mr jay,
    I have been going through financial crisis, although i believe nothing lasts for long and i think my days would get better if I would get a chance to work with your esteemed organisation and it will serve as a great opportunity to learn a lot of things that would help me in the future course.
    So I am looking forward to join your organisation.

    Thanks & regards,
    Chris Gardener

    Reply
  • November 9, 2017 at 4:41 PM

    Hello Jay,
    First of all I would like to say thank you to you for believing my ability and giving me the chance. I accept this opportunity. This internship will enhance my skills and I believe that I will be a great asset to this team. This learning process will be a life changing process for me. The financial crisis I am going through won’t last forever.
    Looking forward to your positive reply.

    Regards,
    Supriya kawadkar

    Reply
  • November 16, 2017 at 12:44 PM

    Dear Jay,

    First of all, I’d like to say thanks to you for giving me this great opportunity to prove myself. Although, my attire was not that appealing which I’m sorry for, but you overlooked it and gave me this golden chance to achieve my dreams for which I’ll always be greatful towards you. It was also sad to know that, It’s a unpaid internship which was hard for me to accept, seeing my current situation but It is also a only chance I have right now, so I’m looking forward to work in your firm. And I assure you that i’ll work really hard and never will disappoint you in the future for giving me this great opportunity.

    Regards,
    Deepti Joshi

    Reply

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