I know there are a lot of academics here, so I am wondering if you all can help me out? I just got asked to adjunct a class this coming semester (it starts in 12 days). The class is in my (humanities) field but not in my specialty, although the material it covers is sort of related to material I've taught before. I'd like to do it because the school is a really, really good one with great students. I have a toddler so part-time work would be perfect for me for the next few years, and getting my foot in the door at this school would be really amazing. Judging from their website the department uses adjuncts often so I think I'd have a shot at getting other work from them. I'm afraid that if I say no, they'll be less inclined to ask again (true?). Also, a friend recommended me and I want her to continue to think of me for stuff like this, and I want her to feel good about recommending me. Here are my questions:

~Am I right in thinking that it is really short notice to throw together a class I've never taught before? It is an upper-level undergrad class for majors, so it'll take a fair amount of research to put together a syllabus. I am pretty new at this (got my PhD, was a VAP for a year, had a post-doc, and then didn't go on the job market for various reasons) so maybe I am slower at this than more experienced teachers would be?

~If I'm right about it being really short notice, is it at all appropriate to ask to see and/or use the syllabus of the person who usually teaches the class? He's also the chair of the department and the one who asked me to cover the class. I don't want to ask this if it is totally not done and will make me look like a hack.

What do you academic GTers think?