This an easy STP question for someone but am I summarizing the operation of root ports and designated ports correctly when I say root ports carry bpdu traffic away from the root bridge while designated ports bring bpdu traffic to the root bridge. If this summarization is incorrect please correct my thinking. Thanks.
You aren't being funny and that's a very valid question.
The answer is it depends. If the non-root switch has ports connected to other non-root switches and those non-root switches do not have a direct connection to the root switch, they will traverse via another non-root switch.
On this scenario, the middle non-root switch will have traffic via 2 ports. On this switch, one port will be set to root (pointing to the root switch) while the other port will be set to designated (pointing to the other non-root switch).
On this other non-root switch, it will have a port designated as the root port (connected to the non-root switch) but on STP it will have the information of the real root switch which is 2 hops away.