I graduated from high school just recently in 2008. I always did well in my english classes, as well as on the writing assignments in other courses. In high school I can remember doing lots of poem excersises as well as creative writing pieces. There were more essay and research type papers than creative papers though, during my high school career. I can remember the teachers going on and on about how each paper was going to prepare us for the way college was going to expect us to be able to write. Sometimes just as much focus was put on the technicalities and formatting of a piece, as there was the actual content. I can also remember grammar being hugely important. Papers were less frequent though and I can remember doing more worksheets and small excersises that went along with the book rather than actually writing all the time.