The gateway course to the Honors program, this two-semester seminar is taken by all first-year Honors students. It guides students through the transition to college-level work by engaging primary texts in literature, history, and philosophy from around the world and across epochs. Organized each year by a theme—e.g., authority and freedom, other worlds, friendship, crossing borders—the class helps students learn to develop their own views of the works assigned through deep analysis, and to write about their thinking in reasoned, mature prose (through short weekly writings, longer essays, and lots of feedback). The course is conceived as a conversation among students and the two professors about provocative ideas and disciplines in dialogue. Overall, students learn the foundational thinking, writing, and speaking skills for future Honors seminars, the rest of college, and life outside the classroom.