NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Meet the instructors of NECC

Dave Rattigan, an instructor with the English department here at NECC says he thinks he has a “portfolio career.” In addition to teaching, he’s also a news correspondent for The Boston Globe (and formerly for People magazine), and works a full schedule as a stand-up comedian (his CD played on Sirius Satellite Radio, among other places) and producer (raising more than $1.2 million for various good causes). He also has a 10-year-old daughter.

Teaches at NECC: Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communications

1. Where did you go to college?
I have a BFA from Emerson College, Masters from Cambridge College, and decades ago I got a degree from Northeast Broadcast School. I also attended a couple of schools that I dropped or flunked out of — valuable training for teaching college — and finished a professional program in direct marketing for Bentley University.

2. What is the best part of being a teacher?
It is gratifying to learn that a student has benefited in some way as a result of something they took from class. I have heard from students who advanced in their careers, changed careers, joined an academic group that they otherwise wouldn’t have, become professional speakers, and other things. It is particularly true of public speaking that when students go from moth to butterfly, the transformation can be amazing.

3. What’s your favorite knock-knock joke?
Banana. I can’t help myself.

Knock knock…
Who’s there?
Banana who?

Knock knock…
Who’s there?
Banana who?

Knock knock…
Who’s there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana.

4. What is your favorite super hero? Why?
Batman. I like the different versions that are imagined from comic book to graphic novel, and also from the movie serials of the 1940s to the campy TV show in the 1960s to the various film Batmans of the 1980s to the present.
But the real reason is that I was 8 when I was introduced to Batman during the craze over the TV show. Batman was so popular that the theater in my town showed some of the black & white serials from the 1940s — Batman’s cowl had high, pointed ears and the costume looked itchy — and at one point two guys dressed as Batman and Robin threw ropes down from the balcony, climbed down, and raced up the aisle as we all went nuts. It was awesome.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
My first choice is here, because my family and friends are here. Los Angeles, London or Dublin seem kind of interesting, and I have that daydream about living on an island and scuba diving all day. Then I watch the Weather Channel and forget about the daydream.

6. If you could’ve been any profession in the world, what would it have been?
I haven’t authored a novel, which is on my “to do” list. Also, I would like to be a police detective on TV.

7. What is your all time favorite movie?
The last time I had a favorite movie it was Casablanca, but I have a 30-second role in an underfunded 2011 feature film called Heavy Times, so let’s pick that one.

8. What’s your two most listened to radio stations in your car?
I mostly listen to sports (WEEI) and news (WBZ), but my 10 year old bullies me into playing Kiss-108.

9. If you could only eat 1 meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pizza, but if I did that my life might not last as long as I’d like.

10. What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up?
A hobo. At a certain point, we started making our own costumes, and that was an easy one to make. All you needed was