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Kids these days with their freaking Zunes and PalmPilots!

Twitter user @MathEdr is a middle school math teacher, which, in our opinion, makes them a hero. Aside from explaining difficult concept to hormonal kids, they also have to deal with all sorts of weird generational gaps, as demonstrated by the teacher’s recent tweet.

Today’s students.
Tiled patterns have become a hot topic among middle school students, so I showed them some traditional Japanese patterns.

Me: “This is called seigaiha…”
Student: “Wow, the reception must be amazing!”
Me: “No, this isn’t the Wi-Fi symbol!!”

Now, we’re sure many of our readers will recognize this pattern, but you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t. In case you haven’t seen it before, though, it’s often found on everything from kimono to pen cases to stationary, and it represents waves spreading out over the ocean. It also kind of looks like someone threw a ton of folding fans on the ground in surprisingly orderly fashion…or, we suppose, everyone’s favorite symbol, the one for free Wi-Fi.

At this point, we can’t really blame the student for any confusion. After all, the resemblance is definitely quite close — in fact, we might even believe you for a second if you told us the Wi-Fi symbol was designed based on the seigaiha pattern.

But all this has us wondering what traditional patterns will be mistaken for in the future. Maybe some day our kids’ kids will think the Zelda Tri-Force emblem is actually a symbol for some fancy new payment system.

And if you’re interested in developing a deeper connection with traditional Japanese culture, you may want to try acting in a kabuki play. Hopefully the kids won’t think you’re just doing some awesome cosplay…

Sources: TogechTwitter/MathEdr
Featured image: Twitter/MathEdr