President Obama told a Washington, D.C. classroom today he'll "still be a pretty young man" when he finishes his second term in the White House. And that he wants to help people after his presidency.
"That's the kind of work that I really love to do," Obama told the kids, according to the White House pool report.
Pool was led into an open space in the library where about 40 kids were seated in chairs in an arc formation around two stools.
Obama walked in at 11:10, and the kids looked stunned. There were a few stifled gasps. One girl was covering her mouth, and then started fanning herself.
Obama sat next to a boy on the stools and talked to the kids for a few minutes about ConnectED, about his love of reading, about wanting kids to have good Internet access.
He took several questions about his reading habits. The first was about what books he was into when he was a kid.
"I'm still a big Dr. Seuss fan," Obama said. "I was into adventure stories. There was something called The Hardy Boys back in the day."
He said he also liked Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. When he got older, he said he liked Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby.
Obama urged the girls to get into science and math in school, because they should push back on the idea that it's "more of a boy thing."
A question from 12-year-old Jayla: when did you want to be president?
Obama said he wanted to be an architect at first, then a basketball player -- "I wasn't that good" -- then in college was inspired by the civil rights movement. He said he became a lawyer, and got to thinking about how to help people.
"I'll still be a pretty young man" after leaving the White House, Obama said, and will go back to helping people, bringing business into communities that need it.
"That's the kind of work that I really love to do," he said.
Another question: what is your best way to get around writer's block?
"There's only one way to overcome writer's block," said Obama. "To just write something ... It's not as intimidating as if the page is just blank."
Obama was talking for a bit about writer's block when the kid on the stool cut him off, to laughs: "I think you've sort of covered everything about that question."
Another question from the group: what was your favorite subject in school?
Obama said it was math at first, but then English and history by the time he got to college.
Last question: what kind of technology did you have in school?
"We had pencils," Obama said to laughs. "Pens. Colored markers. Scissors. Erasers"
He said he was not a fan of using typewriters back in the day. "You had to get this thing called White-Out," he said. "You guys don't even know how good you've got it."
Obama wrapped up after almost 40 minutes with the kids. He posed for some pictures before leaving.
Among those in attendance: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC superintendent of schools.
Pool was ushered out of the library at about noon and led into a side room of the building, holding here for something.