... [a] girl one day flared out and told the principal "the only mission opening before a girl in his school was to marry one of those candidates [for the ministry]." He said he didn't know but it was. And when at last that same girl announced her desire and intention to go to college it was received with about the same incredulity and dismay as if a brass button on one of those candidate's coats had propounded a new method for squaring the circle or trisecting the arc.
Anna Julia Cooper (1859–1964), U.S. S. educator and feminist. A Voice from the South, part 1 (1892).
Of the school she had attended as a child. These exchanges took place in a Greek class that had been formed "for the candidates for the ministry"Mall men. Desperate for intellectual stimulation, Cooper had pleaded successfully to be admitted to the class. The anonymous girl of this anecdote was probably her.