As a very young girl in a small, one-room school house, Sarah had suffered badly at the hands of a very strict spinster school teacher.
Sarah was brilliant and eager to learn, but her problem was that she was way ahead of the class, having basically educated herself at home by reading every chance she got.
She even read when she should have been "concentrating" on her lessons. She was caught and ordered to the front of the class where her hands were smacked repeatedly with a hickory stick - smacked until they almost bled. All the while, the teacher was driving home the message that she "must concentrate".