Yesterday I accidentially rediscovered an album I hadn’t listened to for a very long time: Oasis’ classic (What’s the Story…) Morning Glory. To me, Morning glory will always be linked with a very special time in my life and listening to it immediately brought back a lot of memories of the autumn of 1998. Yes, the record is older but I was as always a bit behind the curve.
First, I will have to take you back a bit further. 1997-1998 was a rough time for me as I was exhausted after finishing a major book project and couldn’t find a new job so I spent the year doing part-time teaching while looking for the proverbial new challenges. For a number of reasons, I knew that my time at the University of Copenhagen was up – no hard feelings from my side: There was simply no more in it for me – but at 33 I had almost ten years on the “grown-up” labour market behind me (!) and was very unsure if my experiences would be useful in a different setting. So I feared that I would be stuck.
The solution came rather unexpectedly from an advice and a contact from a friend who suggested that I could try working in Sweden where there was a massive demand for staff in higher education. To make a very long story short, I took up a temporary position as senior lecturer at Linköping Universiy for the Autumn term of 1998. I did speak Swedish but it was still a case of taking a dive at the deep end.
Still, it turned out to be a complete success. The Political Science unit in Linköping was tiny, so personal relations were important but we soon found out that we blended perfectly. Some aspects of the teaching were very different but it turned out that I made a positive impact on the courses I taught. It was a lot of very hard work, a lot of travelling and I’m not quite sure that I actually made money out of that adventure but it was six months where I could hardly set a foot wrong. Obviously, I was already bouncing back from the post-project exhaustion of 1997, but my term in Linköping turned out to be one of the most massive boosts I have experienced in my life and I suspect that it more or less carried me for the next decade.
And Oasis? Back then we had discmen and you could easily pack ten or twelve CDs in a special case. Quite impressive in those days. Morning Glory was one of the albums I listened to a lot when I was in Linköping and it turns out that it still brings back those fond memories.