American, Communication & Relationships, Communicatios and Media, Education and Career, Lifestyle & Culture, Media, Opinion & Commentary, Social Media, Society and Culture, Uncategorized

A Few Thoughts

The following is a short essay response I wrote as a part of a series of discussions about society’s seemingly increasing dependence upon the Internet. Is it safe? Is it healthy? Have we uncovered a great thing, or is society making a mistake for its ceaseless embrace of technology?

In this response, I’ve briefly shared my thoughts about the issues in about 831 words. Tell me what you think about this topic? Are we too dependent upon the Internet, and other technologies? Share your comments below, and be sure to look at the infographic— you might be surprised at how much information is transmitted via the Internet in one day.

In the “connected” world, it seems that we are increasingly becoming dependent upon the Internet to do basic things which, for many millennia, did not even require electricity. This concept coupled with the ability to complete more tasks faster (with the help of the Internet, of course) is (in my opinion) causing people to develop a greater dependence upon Internet-mediated communications and technologies. Although I have always been a technology enthusiast, and I am always eager to learn how to use the latest technologies, I am also increasingly concerned— especially for the generation following Millennials, because it seems that while they are increasingly being exposed to, and taught how to use, some very sophisticated technologies, I am concerned that when the lights go off, and the convenience of electricity (or, any alternative power source) are not readily available, these persons will (generally) not be able to do basic things like handwrite letters, use a wall telephone,  understand that a “hashtag”, “pound” sign, and “number” sign are all the same thing, in addition to knowing that there is a such thing called a “tablet” which made of paper, and used for writing— and not only the computer device used to play games, watch movies, or to check Instagram. (Today, I had a conversation with 5th grade students about this.)

I am also concerned because I had a childhood which included me playing outside most days of the week. As I reflect on this, playing outside had me interacting with other people face-to-face and helped me to develop social and critical thinking skills. I also got plenty of exercise and even lost my childhood “chubbiness” and became physically stronger and faster. When I wasn’t playing outside, doing homework, or talking with my parents and siblings, I was playing the piano in our family sunroom (or, another one of the musical instruments I learned to create and play as a child). Even when I was studying, it rarely involved the use of a computer unless I was conducting research for a project. When studying, I mostly used books and paper, including dictionaries, thesauri, and almanacs. Although, today, my study tools and study habits have changed, and, now, the project I am completing determines which resources I will use (whether digital and/or print), I’m glad that if the Internet is not available to me, and if the lights go out, I can use paper books to do what I need because Google is only available online.

While I have many concerns about much of humanity’s increasing integration and super-dependence upon the Internet, and other technologies, I do believe that people are increasingly being exposed to information, resources, and other people, whom they would probably never know, or have, if it were not for the integration of the Internet, and other technologies, into society. The fact that citizens can communicate directly with world leaders, and customers can rate and review the products and services they’ve used on a website, are examples of how people and organizations are enabled to better meet the needs of the people they serve. My concern is that there is now an imbalance of technology and the ability to socialize and learn throughout the “connected” world partly because many people don’t seem to know how to properly integrate some new technologies (like social media, for example) into their lives.

For example, some people rely too heavily upon texting instead of using phone calls to discuss important subjects with people (like bosses). I have heard many stories of employees who don’t feel comfortable talking with their employers, and therefore, use the wrong media (like text messaging/SMS) to communicate with their bosses when trying to get clarification for a project, or to handle important transactions. And every day, I read the tweets, posts, and status updates of many teenagers who communicate their ideas through emoticons and acronyms (which are based on the English language) perfectly, but are completely confused when I ask them to write those same messages in the English language using the correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

I didn’t graduate from high school very long ago. Computers and technology have been a very important of my life. I first started using computers when I was three years old, since then, I have learned countless topics in computers and technology, but equally important, I have learned how to speak, read, write and count— the skills and abilities needed to create the computers and technologies I use. I am concerned that the generation following Millennials (and some Millennials, as a matter of fact) will not be as intelligent as the generations before them because they do not seem to understand the importance of learning by using books, paper, pencils and their mouths communicating and learning. They don’t seem to understand that the human mind learns better when people speak, read and write as a part of the human learning and communication process better than they do (in general) when looking at a digital screen.

Books & Reading, Essays and Articles, Uncategorized

2016 Summer Reading List

School’s out, it’s summer time, and it’s time to do some reading! In addition to my “required” readings for some publishing companies, I plan to read books by some highly respected authors, movers and shakers. For each book I read, I will write and publish a review. The following is a list of the authors and their works:

Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Strength to Love (1963)
  • Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958)
  • The Trumpet of Conscience (1968)
  • Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)
  • Why We Can’t Wait (1963)

Why MLK, Jr.? Because anyone who can use Jesus’ teaching to lead a movement which impacted a nation and the world probably has some ideas and information which I need for myself in order to make me a better person in every way. To learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s writings, see his bibliography on the King Center’s website at http://www.thekingcenter.org/books-bibliography#BookMLK

A.W. Tozer

  • God’s Pursuit of Man
  • How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit (currently reading)
  • Tozer for the Christian Leader
  • The Pursuit of God
  • Paths to Power
  • Prayer

In April 2016, I read A.W. Tozer’s book entitled, “Prayer”. This was the first book I’ve read by Tozer. You can read my summary of this book, and the impression it made on me by reading my book review here on the TDarris Blog, or by visiting Amazon.com.

Tozer’s ability to teach subjects with enough detail and concision to help the reader to get an informative introduction to a subject is one of the reasons why I’ve added A.W. Tozer to my 2016 Summer Reading List. Another major reason is because he teaches essential biblical concepts which seem to be missing from much of what is considered to be “Christian” teaching and preaching in today’s society. Morevoer, he teaches with the intent to inform, correct and influence people for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Robert Johnston

“Jesus Called – He Wants His Church Back: What Christians and the American Church are Missing”

I am reading this book for a publisher, and will post this book to my blog and on retailer websites. In the review, I will share my impressions of this book, in addition to an overall summary.

If I have the time (this summer) I want to read books by…

Robert Greene

During my days as an intern, a former co-worker introduced me to “Power” by Robert Greene. She explained to me that I should read it because the book highlighted and detailed some of the major characteristics, strategies and related works of some major historical figures and how their characteristics and strategies could be used in daily situations in career, education and other personal and professional pursuits. So, I did some research on Robert Greene and his popular book, and I discoverred that he had give books in which he explored similar topics. I’ve purchased “Power”, and after I finish that book, I plan to read his other four book. So, here Robert Greene’s books:

  • Power
  • Mastery
  • The Art of Seduction
  • The 33 Strategies of War
  • The 50th Law

This summer, I’ll be reading these books while I’m studying for my teacher certification exam, managing two organizations, researching, reading, writing, editing, narrating and publishing poetry and prose, exercising a whole lot (!), and studying dance amongst other things. So, I’m giving myself 12 weeks to completly read all of these books, and to write and publish a review for each one.

Other books I want to read this fall:

  • The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • The World As I See It by Albert Einstein
  • Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
  • Gandhi: An Autobiography – The Story of My Experiements with Truth
  • The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Dubois
  • Narrative of the Life and Works of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom
  • The Greatest: My Own Story by Muhammad Ali
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What’s on your summer reading list? I’d love to know! Please share in the comments section, or let me know on Instagram or Twitter @TDarris.

Challenges, Communication & Relationships, Education and Career, Leading & Serving, Uncategorized

My 28 Teachers

Over the course of one semester, 28 children gave me nuggets of wisdom which I will never forget, and will use to make me a better [future] wife, [future] mother, daughter, sister, aunt, woman, person, etc.

In short, while I taught this group of energetic and, often, rambunctious of first graders, I also spent this time as a curious student learning a little about what it means to be a teacher, student, mother, mentor, leader and advocate. These beautiful children taught me endless lessons on mercy and grace, justice, fairness, accountability, acceptance and rejection, forgiveness, compassion and love.

I am proud to have taught them! And I am proud that they [unknowingly] taught me each day. And, perhaps, the fact that they don’t seem to realize that they were, indeed, teaching me is something which also amazes me!

I am drafting an essay about these experiences so that I may detail the things I’ve learned during this semester. I also want to share some of my personal and professional views on how public schools could be managed in order to more effectively educate their students’ needs— especially schools which serve students from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds.

For now, I just want to say that children are excellent teachers in their own way. And, when we interact, observe and hear them, we can learn how to be better people for ourselves and for others.

Bible, Christianity, Essays and Articles, Lifestyle & Culture, Society and Culture

I Believe, But I Don’t Read

The Bible consists of 66 books. How can someone claim to bring honor to Someone who has never read about how to honor Him? How can someone call himself, or herself, a “Bible teacher”, but has never studied the Bible? How can we get in passionate debates, and discussions, on Bible passages and things we’ve heard others say about the Bible, but we have never read the Bible for ourselves?

For example, some of the people accessing this content probably have a Facebook page because this content was also published on Facebook. Did those individuals actually  take the time to read the Facebook Terms and Conditions before they began using Facebook? Whether, or not they read those Terms and Conditions, they entered into a contract in order to use Facebook. Who signs contracts, but doesn’t read them, first? The person who didn’t read the Terms and Conditions, but uses Facebook, does not know to what Terms and Conditions he, or she, has agreed. Each party of the contract has to give something up, and/or bring something to the table.

In the military, soldiers honor their countries because they took the time to study its customs and conduct and their environment constantly reminds them of those national customs and conduct. In school, my teachers new their subjects because they studied their subjects and usually, we had a classroom environment to constantly remind us of what we were learning. And in college, I wasn’t paying anyone to waste my time making comments on a subject which he, or she, had not studied.

Continue reading “I Believe, But I Don’t Read”

30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day #31 – I’m thankful that trends eventually fade away

Honestly, I don’t like trends because that usually means that lots of people are doing and/or, saying and/or thinking the same thing(s). I’ve never “fit-in”, and I’ve never been a “follower”. I’m more of an “anti-trendster” because if I see a trend which I think is cool, I generally don’t participate in it until it is no longer popular amongst the masses.

I’m sitting here trying to think of trends which I waited to embrace. One which I can think of off the top of my head is Facebook. I could be wrong, but I waited until 2009 to open my Facebook account for the simple fact that it was so popular amongst my friends and associates. So, i don’t do trends. What about?

Do you follow trends? Which are your favorites?

Challenges, Thank You

Thank You

A few months ago, I challenged myself to reflect on 30 reasons why I’m thankful, and to write about them. That challenge ended a few weeks ago, and I’m more thankful than ever. So, now, I’m going to post more often about the things, experiences, and people, for which I’m thankful. I believe that thankfulness helps us to be more content in our daily lives.

So, the tab on this site which read, “30 Days of Thankfulness” now simply reads, “Thank You”.

Join me each and I’ll share why I’m thankful!


Share Why You’re Thankful!

You can share why your thankful on the TDarrisBlog by posting in the comments sections of each post, or, if you send your “Thankfulness Story” to me via e-mail, teyunatdarris@gmail.com, your story could be featured on the TDarrisBlog.


30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day #30 – I’m thankful for the Internet

I used Internet to write this post and website. You are reading this post. All of this happened because we’re using the Internet. I’m thankful.

Enjoy this video about the “Power of the Internet” and share your thoughts 🙂