How do Jeannette, Lori, and Brian each react to Mom's meltdown near the end of the school year?

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Jeannette's mother, Rose Mary, was a trained schoolteacher. She taught sporadically throughout Jeannette's childhood years.

In the story, Jeannette explains that Rose Mary began teaching remedial reading at an elementary school in Davy (a coal mining camp) after the family was visited by a government welfare official. Since Rex (Jeannette's father) was a ne'er-do-well, Rose Mary decided to get a job.

Despite her good intentions, Rose Mary hated working. Jeannette reveals that her mother experienced difficulty keeping up with her paperwork and often threw temper tantrums about having to provide for the family. At least once a week, Rose Mary would refuse to go to work. During those times, Jeannette and her siblings (Lori and Brian) had little choice but to soothe their mother and get her ready for work.

One morning, towards the end of the school year, Rose Mary had another meltdown. Accordingly, she was supposed to have written up reports/evaluations about her students' progress. Instead of completing them, she had spent much of her time painting. With the looming deadline, Rose Mary began to panic.

During Rose Mary's meltdown, Jeannette and her siblings reacted differently. For his part, Brian tried to make light of his mother's tantrum by impersonating her outrageous behavior. His behavior earned no laughter, however, and so he walked out of the house. Meanwhile, Lori tried to console her mother.

As for Jeannette, she was so disgusted with her mother's behavior that she walked out of the house. Despite Lori's attempts to mollify Jeannette's anger, the narrator remained resolute in her negative opinion of her mother.

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