Skillshare, iMazing & The Online Writing Exam

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Within the period between my last post and today, a lot of crazy things happened, and I was able to do two things I wouldn't normally have done because of a sudden moment of weak thinking and reasoning.

The first one was that I "woke up" my Skillshare account and went premium, thanks to my dad who graciously gave me his card details without thinking twice (thank you daddy!). I had enrolled at a course on Coursera for the "Psychology of Popularity" class that studies how we behave as adults in ways we don't realize, and I eventually found myself looking for other sites to enrol in. I remembered having a Skillshare account a year ago, but I couldn't remember why I neglected it, so I headed over to check out their new classes.

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Maybe it was fate (or something cheesy like that), but the first class I saw was "Simple Character Lip Sync", followed by the class that nailed me hard. It was Mary Kate McDevitt's hand-lettering workshop. I immediately chatted up my friend on Facebook who was a die-hard fan of the lady, and I told her we should both enrol for the class. A few minutes later, I checked back on Skillshare and hit the enrol button - only to be greeted with a pop-up for upgrading my account to premium. At the same time, the friend I gave the link to also told me it would cost $8 just to enrol. We expressed our frustration with emoticons and stickers (as young adults normally do) and I went back to Skillshare to think about what to do.

A few minutes and chats later, I was on premium. Dad was online, and I really didn't know what came over me. It was $10 for a monthly payment, and $8 for the annual. I went for the monthly, and now here I am, downloading the 19 classes I enrolled in to my Skillshare app on the iPhone for offline viewing.

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Here is where my real wave of regret came from, and until today, I still can't get over my sudden actions.

Okay, so I had already gone premium and had enrolled in 19 awesome classes on Skillshare. I promised my friend I would get her copies of those videos and I would find a way around the site's no right-click/downloading function. I tried screen capturing it with the Windows Expression Recorder, and it was a pretty decent copy except for the obvious decrease in audio quality. I know I should've accepted that fact and stopped trying, but I remembered I wanted to keep copies for myself as well, and in full HD.

Stupid me began looking for ways to download the videos and a Youtube video explaining an easy way to do it popped up in the search results. Although I wouldn't normally click the link, I did anyway, and to my surprise, it indeed was as easy as the title said it would be. The app the guy featured was called iMazing. He was working on a mac and the app looked great. I figured there was no harm in trying so I went to the iMazing website to see if this was legitimate and worth the download.

They had a 14-day trial available with limited functionality, and knowing it would take me less days to download and transfer everything to my mac, I went ahead and downloaded it onto my PC, since they had a windows version available. After it installed and I plugged in my iPhone to test things, I found nothing on the Skillshare app folder. I thought there must've been something I missed, so I checked back on the video and paused it just to the point where I already was. A few minutes later, I decided to download iMazing onto my mac instead.

Now things looked more similar to the tutorial video. I followed as instructed and sure enough, my downloaded videos had been copied onto my mac's desktop. I was so happy I began playing each video just to see if they were all in great quality. Most of the videos though were only 551 kb, incredibly smaller than I expected. I thought it was a glitch and I did the extraction process a second time, but the same thing just kept happening. There were only around 10-12 working videos!

Here is where I get to earn the "incredibly stupid idiot" award.

Thinking that the trial's limited function was to blame for my incomplete videos, I went back to the iMazing website to look at the price for a single license. It was $29.99 for one user that can be used on three computers. It was a one-time payment that guaranteed a lifetime period of usability. I went to a converter and it translated to Php 1,600 something. Something came over - and yes, i really didn't know what - but I used my dad's Paypal account to seal the deal. It was under my email account, so I knew all the details and had unlimited access to it - something very unfortunate in this situation. Just two clicks later, iMazing had already sent a receipt to my email for the purchase.

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It was a mix of feelings at that point. I knew I had done something wrong and my dad knew nothing about it yet, and I spent $30 on an application to download videos from an account I already spent money for. That was a double-dead situation. On the other hand, I was incredibly excited for what I could now do. I could now download Skillshare videos and transfer them to my mac for future reference.

It was also on the same day that I had a scheduled online writing exam for Propelrr, a premier digital marketing agency in the country. I was referred to the company by my long-time friend Stela, and through her (she was also their employee), I was able to get my resume and writing samples to the bosses. One content writer named Mr. Hernandez contacted me around 2 days ago to ask if I was available at 5pm yesterday for my online exam. Of course, I said yes.

Due to my anxiety, I was getting stressed out an hour before the appointed time and I logged on to Facebook to chat with my dad and whoever I was comfortable talking about this with. Thankfully, both were online. As if my level of worry was not enough, after encouraging me and telling me to just be myself, dad slipped in a casual "I just received the receipt for the $29.99 you spent using my Paypal" line. I honestly didn't know what to say, other than tell him that I thought it was free and that it wouldn't be charged immediately. I also told him that if he was going to get angry at me, he should leave it for later. I wasn't in the mood to get scolded at, not an hour before my exam. I was glad he didn't, and he didn't even mention it when I mentioned "bank" and "credit card" to him when we had a video call after. Fun dad. :)

Anyway, I was able to start my exam around 6:30 pm due to the late arrival of emails between me and Mr. Hernandez, and once I saw my topic, I froze. It was definitely not what I thought I had to write about. I thought I would be given a Hotel to review or something that I could give "5 Tips On Such and Such", but no! I was to write about "Irrefutable Proofs Mobile-First Strategy Boosts Conversion". I was like, whaaaaattttt?! I didn't understand a thing when I first read it. I really thought I was doomed. I thought I had gotten into something I was never prepared to do. I was really scared.

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Mr. Hernandez and I were chatting on Google Hangouts so that he could give me real-time instructions, all of which I worked hard to understand. I had only 3 hours to finish the article which should amount to at least 1000 words, link to two related pages (provided), use 8 of the 11 given keywords for SEO, and have a meta description with 4 other title suggestions. When we were done chatting, I plunged right in.

My first agenda was to understand the topic and figure out what each term meant in business. I opened the provided sources and did a little research of my own. My open tabs were too much to count. I couldn't even see the title for each tab that was open! The first 30 minutes were spent on research, taking down notes, and trying to organize my flow. It was one of the most stressful writing project I've ever had to do. I was also given a sample tone for my article, but I didn't really check my submission as I was already two minutes past the deadline. I wish I did though. Right now, I don't know what they'll say about my work. Maybe it's crap.

It was an amazing experience in general. I've never been pushed to this limit in writing before, especially with an "alien" topic that I wasn't really knowledgeable of. I was incredibly hungry afterwards, especially since as I was writing, I could smell mom baking banana cake downstairs. Pigged out a little once I could breathe. Haha.

So that's what happened. This post was supposed to be my take on a "Would You Rather" challenge, but my hands decided to write about my experience instead.

Do you have a similar experience to at least one of mine? Tell me all about it!
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