Barack Obama seems to be finding his flow as a former president.
Last month, he slipped onto Harvard's campus to help move his daughter into her dorm.
This week, he surprised high school students at McKinley Technology High School, something he couldn't do as a sitting president, where the security apparatus make such discreet visits nearly impossible.
Obama, along with D.C. Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson, met with 19 students Friday afternoon to discuss "their life goals, pursuing higher education, and giving back to their communities," according to Obama's office. His office, which posted a short video of the visit on Instagram, said it was intended to welcome the students back to school. But the encounter also seemed to be kind of a release for Obama.
"You don't mind me crashing, right?" he said as he entered the room smiling widely. The students looked stunned.
"One of the things that I did throughout my presidency is I'd meet with groups of young people everywhere I went because I do believe that most of the problems that we have are going to be solved by you," he said, looking relaxed in a black suit with no tie.
Obama hasn't had what most would consider a low-key post-presidency. His successor is intent on tearing apart his legacy. Just this week he issued a lengthy statement defending his administration's executive action known as DACA, halting the deportation of young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children. And CNN reported Friday that the former president has scheduled his first fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee since leaving office.
Still, the school visit is a break with Obama's approach to post-presidency life in Washington, a city that most presidents flee as soon as their terms have ended. Obama took several long vacations at the end of his administration and has not been a regular presence, though he and his wife purchased a home here and intend to stay at least until their younger daughter finishes high school.
One reason Obama chose to visit McKinley is because it is a part of the District's initiative to empower males of color, which was launched in 2015 after Obama's My Brother's Keeper program issued a challenge to communities to support boys and young men of color.
The visit was closed to the news media.