How My Mother Graduated from School

by Eric G. Müller

Already in the first week of attending an all-girls Catholic school she sat at the old upright piano accompanying hymns at the morning assemblies. The nuns were strict, but she never got into trouble, did all her work diligently and was well liked by the other girls in her 8th grade. Because she lived in Durban, South Africa, she didn’t give it much thought when war was declared in ’39, till she heard “bloody German” and “Nazi” whispered repeatedly behind her back by the girls who now avoided her. The day after her father got arrested and interned she was told by the Mother Superior that her services at the daily assemblies were no longer required. One morning, in the middle of a lesson, after another snide remark was covertly hurled her way, she slipped furtively from the class that collectively shunned her, and locked herself up in one of the bathroom’s stalls, sobbing. Quietly, she opened up the tiny window above the toilet, squeezed through and ran home, never to return to any school, ever again.


Eric G. Müller is a musician, teacher and writer. He has written two novels, Rites of Rock and Meet Me at the Met, as well as a collection of poetry, Coffee on the Piano for You, and numerous stories.