Students and teachers at Coral Reef High School can't pinpoint when they first heard the news that President Obama was coming to speak. He and the First Lady visited the south Miami-Dade school on Friday to ask students to apply for free federal student aid before they graduate.
Rumors had been floating around the high school since the previous week because of some strange things they saw.
"Students started observing secret service around the building, so they started making comments, asking teachers," says chemistry teacher Stefano Pagani.
More than a dozen people crowded the Salvadorean restaurant La Pupusa Factory in Little Havana to hear President Obama's remarks on immigration reform during his State of the Union address Tuesday.
They were part of a community forum with a focus on immigration reform and equal rights. After the address, there was mostly disappointment among the crowd.
"There was barely a mention of immigration reform. ... There was nothing that he said that pointed in that direction and we are all very disappointed about it," said Camilo Mejilla, one of the organizers.
When Richard Blanco got the call that he'd been chosen to write a poem for President Obama's second inauguration, at first he thought it was a prank. He still has no idea how he ended up on the President's radar.
"I would dream actually that the President has actually read my work and was so moved by it," says Blanco, laughing, "that he said, 'I want this guy to read a poem at the inaugural.'"
On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama will give the first State of the Union address of his second term. Among the many issues that impact South Floridians -- jobs, immigration reform, Medicare -- climate change is one of the hot-button topics expected to make the agenda.
Richard Blanco is home now, back in Miami after a six-year journey that launched the award-winning poet and FIU double-graduate into what was supposed to be the “real America.”
“The great prodigal return,” he calls it, the irony evident in his voice – not only about the places he’s been, but about the place he’s come back to. The journey has shaped much of Blanco’s recent poetry, and his evolving sense of identity as a writer, as the son of Cuban immigrants and as an American.