Our world revolved around school rules, rules as mysterious and
arcane as the murkier corners of a papal cabal. Bottom
button of blazer open or not, left hand in pocket
or not, diagonal or straight crossing of the courtyard, running
or walking on the lawn, books in right hand or
left, blue ink or black, cap tipped forward or back.
There was no cribsheet, no list to consult, no house
book embossed Rules. Regulations merely existed, bobbing to the surface
of school life. We took their randomness, their rigidity, their sheer
number, for granted, and we obeyed because they were there.
Paraphrases from the novel What I Was by Meg Rosoff.