From our 8th grader's homework this week: write a personal essay about a time you were separated from a friend. The teacher explicitly wanted the students to explore "strong emotions".
This was a horrible assignment for our kid. Until she moved to her current school, she got along with everybody, but wasn't really good friends with anybody. She really had no situation that fit the description of the essay. Furthermore, she hates, hates! disclosing emotion to strangers and doesn't see why she has to share intimate details with her teacher.