Washington: In a free-wheeling interaction with children, US President Barack Obama on Thursday said he first wanted to be an architect and then a basketball player before becoming interested in politics.
In a 40-minute interaction with students at a library, Obama urged the girls to get into science and math in school, to push back on the idea that it is "more of a boy thing".
A 12-year-old Jayla asked the President, "When did you want to be President?"
Obama urged the girls to get into science and math in school, to push back on the idea that it is "more of a boy thing".
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Obama, in reply, 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 that got him 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 and bringing business into communities that need it. "That's the kind of work that I really love to do," he said.
Asked "what kind of technology did you have in school?" Obama said, "We had pencils," drawing laughs.
"Pens. Colored markers. Scissors. Erasers," he said on a lighter note.
Obama sat next to a boy on the stools and talked to children for a few minutes about ConnectED, learning powered by technology, his love of reading and wanting children 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.
Obama 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'.
"What is your best way to get around writer's block?" a student asked.
"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," he added.
Obama was talking for a bit about writer's block when the child on the stool cut him off, to laughs: "I think you've sort of covered everything about that question."
Another question from the group was, "What was your favorite subject in school?"
Obama, in reply said, it was math at first, but then English and history by the time he got to college.