Paxton Calvanese


Modus means “The Way” in Latin.  (I had to go to Latin to get the cool domain name.)   Project Modus illustrates the foundational dysfunction of the American education system from high school through college.  Dysfunction because school doesn’t function in preparing kids for the realities of work and career. What’s worse is that school reinforces behaviors and instills beliefs that are contrary to success.  This wouldn’t be a big deal if not for all the effort, pressure, money, time, and stress put on students to make the grade so they get into the right college so they can work even harder in college to get the right job.

This project shows how people actually made their careers work and is comprised of audio interviews with professionals from all walks of life.  These people describe their way, their mistakes, their challenges, their conclusions, their successes, their wisdom.  Each story is as unique as their own fingerprint and offers a much needed real world perspective that students are not getting. It’s June 2018 and I’m just beginning.  I have about 30 more interviews lined up and will keep going until it’s time to do something else.

Some got straight As, some straight Ds, some knew in high school what they wanted, most not, and all say school didn’t equip them for work.  But everyone made it through their own unique way, adjusting to the marketplace, to their vision, their needs, and figuring out their way one step at a time.  And that is everybody’s task.

The second part of this project is a blog where I write in a more direct and critical style illustrating the dysfunction or patterns of school and popular thinking that are detrimental to success.  I’m not sure if the interviewees would agreed with all I say (cuz I’m somewhat irreverent), but little do they know I write my observations and use their stories as evidence.

The target audience is my son, Steven. But if you’re a high schooler, college kid, recent graduate, your name is also Steven, or you have a vision to start a business you are welcome to read and listen.   Hearing how others have done it, the challenges they faced,  their perseverance, and how they made it through the night is a powerful way to get courage for your path.  Knowledge for the sake of knowledge and that piece of paper can be attained at any two bit college.  The content on this site is unique and illustrative of what is actually needed for success.   I have found that the true ingredients for success come from our will and vision guided by our character.  Character is developed by meeting challenges of life, not demanding that society conforms to us.


I started this project after trying to convince my son, who was in his first year in college, to expand his horizons by taking classes unrelated to his field of study.  I know what he doesn’t.  I know that grades really don’t matter.  I know there is a much better way than slaving away at the books and cramming your mind with information to spit it all out again then forget it completely the next week – just to get an A or a B or C.  What a poor use of time to work so hard for something that has little to no actual value.   But he wouldn’t have any of it and after all how could I compete with the indoctrination of the education system.

Later I was out to lunch with a friend and after listening to his story I knew this was my shot to convince Steven to think out of the box regarding his education.  So I asked friends and associates if I could record their stories. It went well.  Collectively the interviews turned out to paint a compelling case for how make work work.  A way that stands in stark contrast to the conventional narrative sold in school and popular culture which won’t lead to any type of contentment because it doesn’t fit a healthy pattern of life.


I’ve spend too much time in corporate IT, graduate with a degree in Architecture, did terrible in high school, and am constantly figuring out what I want to do next. For the past few years I pushed out a few apps. which is an innovative aviation weather app and its counterpart which brings the same unique view of weather for all the non-pilots of the world and finally

I made some critical mistakes in life, had too many curve balls thrown my way, and have figured out some things in life and work that will benefit some and probably insult a few – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Paxton Calvanese