In Texas: Where Road Scholars Get Their Education

On this raw, gusty winter morning, Mary Goodrum is wishing she were someplace else than the cab of an 18-wheeler on an abandoned Texas airfield.

Goodrum is hunched over the wheel of a Freightliner, straining with all her 106-lb. might to maneuver 61 ft. of tractor-trailer into a parking space that doesn't look large enough for two Corvettes. Like most novice truck drivers, she is confronted by too many tasks demanding simultaneous attention: eyeballing six side-view mirrors, working a gargantuan steering wheel and a muscle-wearying clutch pedal, and monitoring an instrument panel befitting a 727. Goodrum eases the rig back until...

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