PADI Scuba Diving Certification course - Day One

While in Koh Tao, my goal was to complete the PADI Scuba Diving Certification course. After a ton of google research, I decided to go with Sairee Cottage Diving on Sairee Beach, Koh Tao. There are well over 90 dive shops on the small island, so I simply went with the one that had great reviews (recent), the most convenient schedule, and an opening during the time I was there. I paid 11,000 Baht and was signed up to start 2 days later.

The morning of the first Dive course, I was a basket of nerves. I don't know what I was more nervous about - actually learning to dive or remembering HOW to dive once I learned. Turned out, fear was not needed. The class started at 8am the first day and there were 6 of us total.
My classroom
Our instructor, Aom, was PHENOMENAL! She was funny, patient, and realistic on the training plans. We started with a full morning of video training where we learned the theories behind scuba diving and do so safely. Then we had lunch on our own and reconvened at the pool where we learned about the gear, how to check the gear, assemble the gear, and don the gear. We did this numerous times before even going into the pool which was UBER helpful for me - I learn so much better by DOING than I do reading or watching.
We practiced assembling and disassembling everything 3-4 times (putting the buoyancy vest on the tank, hooking up and unhooking the regulators to the O2 tank, turning the tank on and off, and then buddy checking to make sure it all worked.. and repeat) and then jumped in the pool (sans gear) to do a 10 minute treading water exercise and a laps exercise to make sure we could all float on on our own before putting on the pounds of gear. We all passed and proceeded to don our gear and hit the pool. We started by learning how to inflate and deflate our buoyancy control device (vest).. then learned and practiced how to breath with the regulator while simply just being in the pool. That was one of my 3 moments of panic, but it quickly subsided. It turns out it is difficult (mentally) to learn to breath thru your mouth when your nose is covered by the mask (versus plugging your own nose). Once we had that down, we started practicing moving around, deflating our vests to go to the bottom of the pool, etc. We practiced a ton of skills the first day - we were in the pool for 4 hours and truly pruned by the end of the day! We had some skills tests which we all mastered by the end of the day. It was a great day but was very exhausting!!!

Things we learned Day One:
Tank inspection, valve check, gasket check, air quality and amount check. X5 
Assemble gear, put it on, take it off, disassemble 5x
Entry stride numerous
Proper weights and weight checks
Clearing snorkel x10
Swap between regulator and snorkel while underwater x5
5 point decent x3
5 point ascent x3
Neutral buoyancy numerous
Fixing loose cylinder underwater x2
Clear floooded mask x10+
Remove mask underwater, swim 50 and replace/clear mask still under h20 x3
Free flow and Discontinue free flow x2
O2 depletion moves x2
Exit numerous
Emergency weight drop x2
Emergency assistance to buddy - x4 secondary air source, towing, buoyancy x4
Cramp control and remedy x2
Hand signals all day
Clean equipment