For the instructor or student confronting an introductory course in ordinary differential equations there is a need for a brief guide to the key concepts in the subject. Important topics like stability, resonance, existence of periodic solutions, and the essential role of continuation of solutions are often engulfed in a sea of exercises in integration, linear algebra theory, computer programming and an overdose of series expansions. This book is intended as that guide. It is more conceptual than definitive and more light-hearted than pedagogic. It covers key topics and theoretical underpinnings that are necessary for the study of rich topics like nlinear equations or stability theory. The author has included a great many illuminating examples and discussions that uncover the conceptual heart of the matter.