My Birthday and Exam

A birthday cake Yesterday went perfectly, first the exam and then the birthday. I woke up a little past 8:00 when the construction workers started their machines just 15 metres from my window. They’re busy building a bunch of new houses in two stories.

I got some breakfast and then Camilla came by to say “Happy Birthday” and wish me luck with my exam. We’re all having our exams right now, she has just had a four hour long written exam in anatomy. She had to learn the names and functions of a huge number of muscles, and she had to learn it by heart. I’m glad that we’re allowed to bring our books with us to our exams…

I went to the University of Aarhus |] at around 11:00 and thought that I came a couple of hours early. We don’t know the exact time of our exams, we only know what number we are on that day. If people don’t show up, then everybody is moved to an earlier time, so you have to come a couple of hours early to be on the safe side. It was my turn at 12:30.

I got BetaExamQuestions#q15] titled “Using Relational Database Systems in Object-Oriented Programs”. It’s a really good questions because there’s a lot to be said about it. I started with E/R diagrams and explained how these are mapped into relations which in turn can be made into CREATE TABLE statements in SQL.

After that was explained, I moved on to the impedance mismatch problem, that it the problem that our programming languages cannot work with relations natively, and that our (relational) databases cannot work with objects, records and other constructs like those natively. Object-oriented databases solves this by being able to handle objects with complex attributes, but I have yet to see a demonstration of such a database, so far I’ve only read about them in our database book.

I finished off by describing how we use databases from our programs, despite of the impedance mismatch problem. I talked about using embedded SQL and using a call-level interface. When I was done talking I was asked some extra questions so that they could see if I was just being lucky… They asked about all sorts of stuff like “What is a prototypical concept?” and “What is the block structure used for in BETA?”. I answered these questions as well and they decided to let me go while they talked about my grade.

A couple of minutes later Mads Torgersen came out with a big smile and told me that I got the grade 13! Of course I also smiled big when I heard this! I told him that this was probably the best birthday present I could have gotten and he agreed. I went home after having seen that Peter from my class had gotten a 10, which is also a very impressing grade.

When I got home to Skejbygård]] everybody was buzzing around: Martin hurried to raise the flag when he saw me and [Camilla, [Torben, and [Jesper were baking a surprise-cake that they didn’t want me to see. After I had told them the good news about my exam, I took a bath to get rid of the sweat from my bike ride back from Uni. They gave me the cake and a present while singing ”I dag er det Martins fødselsdag” (the Danish variant of ”Happy Birthday”), it was very sweet.

The present was IMDB:Shaft (2000) with Samuel L. Jackson. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m looking forward to it. The cake was good and so was the mood. Half an hour later my dad, my mom, and my younger [brother arrived from Aalborg.

They also brought me presents: a nice sweater, the movie IMDB:Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001) by Steven Spielberg, a CK One perfume, and more. My grandparents have sent me money so that I can go out and find something I like. My mom had also made a really good birthday cake, just like the one on the image at the top-right corner. We went out for dinner and then the family returned to Aalborg again a little earlier than 22:00.

So, all in all a perfect day: a perfect exam and a great birthday celebration afterwards. Thanks to everybody for making it so! –Martin Geisler

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