Monday, February 10, 2014

Centreville resident Kline files to run for Queen Anne’s County Board of Education

News for Immediate Release
February10, 2014
Contact 443-988-8632

Centreville resident Kline files to run for Queen Anne’s County Board of Education

Centreville, Maryland – Today Steven Kline announced his candidacy for the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education, where he will seek to represent the county’s second district.

“I am excited to enter the race for the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education. Public schools represent our most important investment in the future, and as a member of the Board of Education, I will be committed to keeping Queen Anne’s County public schools at the top of the pack; making sure our schools work for our students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers,” said Kline.

“As a member of the board, I will do all I can to prioritize science, math, and technology in our schools, while also making sure our students have access to quality art and music education, both of which are essential. I think there is value in moving beyond measuring success simply by a test score, and beginning to focus more on the comprehensive development of our children into members of society who are not only productive, but possess the skills to be happy,” said Kline. 

“The surest way to have successful students is to create a space where teachers can be successful. I’ll emphasize improving teacher morale, and seek to work with other members of the Board of Education to enact policies that help to retain our best teachers and attract the best teachers in the world to Queen Anne’s County,” said Kline
Kline is an Eagle Scout who attended Maryland’s great public schools. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Master’s Degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University. Kline and his wife Kimberly have made their home in Centreville since 2009. He is the father of two children. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

I am no fan of popular culture. Even before having young children provided a good excuse not to go to the movies, I didn't find myself shelling out 8 or 10 dollars for a ticket and 15 dollars for a soda with too much ice and a bag of popcorn very often. My movie philosophy was summed up nicely by Gene Wilder recently, in an interview on AMC that I caught accidentally; when asked why he wasn't doing much film acting these days, Wilder looked pained, as if he was letting the interviewer in on some unfortunate secret that could no longer be kept from him: "Because most of them" The audience laughed, but Wilder just shrugged, perhaps frustrated by their laughter.

I am sure there are lots of great movies being produced, but the ones that I am told are going to be great, never are. I recently saw American Hustle. The theater was packed and yet the movie was just...okay. It  was too long, there were entire segments I thought could have been left out, that forwarded the story in no meaningful way, and yet here we were on the wrong side of two hours invested in a movie that was blowing no one's socks off. I thought to myself, and probably said out loud, if this is on the short list for Best Film, the competition must be incredibly weak.

But there are a few actors who can make me want to buy a ticket. Daniel Day Lewis leads a short list. Leonardo DiCaprio. And increasingly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I thought Hoffman's performance of Truman Capote in the film Capote was truly masterful. Hoffman immersed himself in that role the way Day-Lewis did in Lincoln, and the result was just as astounding. One forgets where the actor ends and the role begins. I am no film critic, nor what anyone would call a movie buff, and perhaps there are better, more technically sound, ways to describe Hoffman's performance in Capote, but I will leave it at exceptional.

I tried, although maybe halfheartedly, to see Hoffman perform on the Broadway stage as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, a role he was said to have mastered on the live stage. But traveling to Manhattan for painfully white collar entertainment wasn't in the cards. I find myself wishing it had been.    

I am no fan of popular culture. So much of it is vapid, empty, and temporary, that it is just not worth paying attention. But such as Mr. Hoffman's work was popular, it was worth paying attention to, it was none of those things. A man whose extraordinary talent came at the cost of an extraordinary vulnerability has left this planet far too soon with far too much left to do. I found myself unexpectedly moved at the news of his passing and pledged to recommit myself to my own writing, for one day, there will be nothing more to write.