"Real" clay doesn't go to waste you can play on the wheel with it, wedge (smoosh) it back together and use it again. Play at making pinch pots, coiled pots, throw some, find an old rolling pin and roll it out and slab build stuff as well, etc etc. Even if clay dries out and becomes hard just put it in a bag with some water and it will soften back up and be usable again. Clay is amazing it's never wasted and can always be reused until you put it in a kiln. So while you are playing, learning and perfecting keep an eye out for a small kiln, if you live in or near a large city something will pop up.
As for low fire or mid fire.... I would go with a mid fire stoneware since its great for just about everything... Others might say otherwise.
To help fill in those forgotten ...ehem slept through as you say... Fundamentals, visit your local library and grab a few books on Pottery, ceramics, etc. I took a class and then checked out every book I could on pottery and learned more from the books and this forum than I did in the class.
Oh and don't forget to HAVE FUN!
- Stephen likes this